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LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 




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THE AUTHOR 
FROM THE DRAWING BY SARGENT 



Frontispiece 



LAND OF THE 
GOLD MOHUR 



BY 

LADY LOWTHER 



ILLUSTRATED 



PHILIP ALLAN 
MCMXXXII 



Made and printed in Great Britain by 
Robert MacLebose & Co. Ltd. at the 
Glasgow University Press and pub- 
lished by Philip Allan & Co. 
Ltd. at Quality House, 69 
Great Russell Street, 
London 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

BOMBAY ------- ! 

BHOPAL AND SANCHI 21 

UDAIPUR 35 

JAIPUR ------- <jj 

DELHI- ------- 77 

AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 97 

CALCUTTA 117 

BENARES - - - - - - -137 

ELLORA AND DAULATABAD - - - 169 

AJANTA 185 

DELHI - - - - - - -201 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - - - 218 

GLOSSARY - - - - - -221 

INDEX ------- 227 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



THE AUTHOR. (FROM THE DRAWING BY SARGENT) Frontispiece 

THE TRIMURTI, ELEPHANTA CAVES, BOMBAY HARBOUR 12 

BUDDHIST SHRINE, AJANTA - 13 

NORTH GATE OF GREAT STUPA, SANCHI 30 

TORANA (GATE) GREAT STUPA, SANCHI - - - 31 

TEMPLE OF JUGGERNATH, UDAIPUR - - - - 36 

TRIPULIA GATE AND PALACE, UDAIPUR - - - 37 

GATE AT UDAIPUR -- 46 

PALACE GARDEN, UDAIPUR 47 

PALACE OF THE WINDS, JAIPUR 70 

GREAT GATE OF PALACE, AMBER - - - - 71 

GATE OF THE FORT, DELHI 78 

PEARL MOSQUE, DELHI 79 

KUTB MlNAR, NEAR DELHI 90 

THRONE OF MOGHUL EMPEROR, 

PUBLIC AUDIENCE HALL, DELHI (DIVAN-I-AM) - 91 

TOMB OF AKBAR, NEAR AGRA 100 

TOMB OF MUMTAZ-I-MAHAL, TAJ MAHAL, AGRA - - 101 

SHRINE OF SHEIK SELIM CHISHTI, FATEHPUR SIKRI - 112 

GATE OF VICTORY, FATEHPUR SIKRI - - - 113 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CALCUTTA. (FORMERLY VICE- 
REGAL LODGE) 122 

LADY LOWTHER: IN THE GUEST HOUSE, VICEREGAL 

LODGE, DELHI 123 



ILLUSTRATIONS , Vll 

PAGE 

BURNING GHAT, BENARES 142 

DOME AND SPIRES, GOLDEN TEMPLE, BENARES - - 143 

PEDESTAL OF KAILASA TEMPLE, ELLORA - - 180 

CAPITAL OF ASOKA LAT (OR PILLAR), SARNATH - - 181 

EXTERIOR OF BUDDHIST CAVE TEMPLE, AJANTA - - 188 

HINDU CAVE TEMPLE, No. 29, ELLORA - - 189 

CAVE PAINTING, AJANTA. (GAUTAMA THE BUDDHA AS 

PRINCE) -------- I ^ z 

BODHISATTVA, (OR PREDESTINED BUDDHA) - - "193 

TOMBS OF MOHAMMED SHAH AND PRINCE JEHANGIR, 

NIZAM UDDIN AULIA'S DARGAH, NEAR DELHI - 208 

LADY HONOR WARD, CAPTAIN BOWES DALY AND LADY 

LOWTHER - 209 



TO THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED ME TO FIND 
TO GATHER AND TO SAVE THESE SCAT- 
TERED SHELLS FROM CORAL STRANDS 



LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 



BOMBAY 

1 5//& October. Am I going to India or am I not ? 

ij"/ November. I am going to India. I am on my 
way to India on board P. & O. s.s. Kashmir at the 
entrance to the Red Sea 1 A wine-dark sea with rose 
mountain-peaks rising jagged in the North-East, grey- 
blue peaks against an orange sky in the South- West. 

I started from Windsor on the 3ist October. A 
swift journey through France where I greeted the 
cypresses, white rocks and yellow plane-trees of the 
South and we lumbered through Marseilles, to stop 
at the P. & O. docks. 

A fine harbour ; guarded by the tower-crowned 
islands, the heights above the town whence the Ma- 
donna on her dizzy pedestal gazes out to sea and, 
crouching behind, the lesser Alps ; their white bones 
tearing the mantle of pine and olive, cystus and 
heather. 

At sunrise on the second morning we pass through 
the Straits of Messina. Will we see anything more 
lovely than the parting of the Apennines and Sicily ? 
Where, baffled by the waves, the craggy monster gazes 
across at the blue outline of the island as she sinks into 
the arms of Neptune. Like Ulysses, I saw a light on 
Crete last night. 

6th November. Port Said, illumined by a theatrical 
little crescent-moon on the wane and a dim dawn. We 



2 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

tie up alongside the quay where a host of filthy, jabber- 
ing natives, waiting on coal-lighters, swarm into our 
hold over planks slippery with sweat, gritty with coal- 
dust, toiling to fill our depleted bunkers. I got up 
rapidly and went ashore, as did most of my fellow- 
passengers. Lady Lytton who, with a group of lovely 
girls, was going out to join her husband, then Gover- 
nor of Bengal, was even more energetic than I ; for 
she and the rest of her party had early breakfast at the 
Casino 1 Everyone bought tobacco ; so did I, though 
I never smoke. I also went to visit the English Hospi- 
tal there admirably run. 

Then the wonder of the Suez Canal an achieve- 
ment indeed ; all honour to De Lesseps and to modern 
enthusiasm. It will be a monument to our times more 
everlasting than any pyramid and yet if we are to 
fall into a European decadence, Bolshevism calling a 
halt to the hectic activities of civilization will it silt 
up and close and the Israelites cross again into the 
desert dry-shod ? 

I had fancied the Canal wider and dug between 
yellow sands. It is surprisingly narrow and runs, a 
mathematically straight line, through a greenish marsh- 
land. It has no locks but passes through two lakes on 
the way to Suez. 

I am tired and sleep so late that I miss Suez ; no 
great loss. I suppose I shall look at it shivering in 
anticipation of English chills next January. 

How shall I tear myself away from this all enfolding 
delight of tepid breezes ? This felicity 1 To be really 
warm though dressed in muslin, not wrapped up in 
heavy clothing which stifles without warmth. 



BOMBAY 3 

Lady Lytton's party and I sit at the Captain's table : 
nine females and one male Her Excellency, Lady 
Phyllis Windsor Clive, the Ladies Hermione and 
Davina Lytton, Lady Patsy Ward, Miss Ursula 
Lutyens, Miss Lafone, Miss de Verria and myself. In 
comparison with Transatlantic liners of 58,000 tons 
the ship is small, only 8000 tons, but is very comfort- 
able and with a complement of about seventy-five 
passengers. 

We are still in the Red Sea. It is almost as I ima- 
gined it : the granite heights on either hand, the 
water-way between. The Arabian coast, however, is 
very high I had fancied it nearly flat. 

Aden is astonishing another Gibraltar 1 The lock 
on the further door to the Middle Sea 1 It rises like 
the Spanish rock, bristling sentinel-wise from the blue 
waves, just such another fortress, on just such an 
angular peninsula ; the same flat hinterland with 
faintly violet mountains in the far distance. 

The same and yet not the same. For as I looked out 
of my port-hole when we dropped anchor I saw a 
misty azure sea, a canoe with languidly paddling boys 
and a lighter moored to our ship. Then my eyes rested 
on a single figure and the immutable East flashed 
before me. A naked bronze youth with a dirty white 
turban and a dingy loin-cloth was seated on the 
lighter's edge wrapped in contemplation of the far 
horizon where no ship was. His brethren were busy 
moving to and fro, the monstrous fire-ship from the 
West was beside him, but the wonder lay not there, 
he paid no heed and crouched in the blazing sun, his 
limbs shining like polished metal, dreaming the same 



4 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

dream his like have dreamed age upon age. Are we 
to call it emptiness ? 

It was very hot, but I went ashore with the intention 
of going to church and was padding my way through 
the black dust along the front of c Steamer Point/ 
when Sir Arthur Froome with Mrs d'Adley, the wife 
of the P. & O. Agent at Aden, picked me up in a 
motor and whisked me off to the * Gardens/ an oasis 
of palms, mimosa and various strange shrubs. The 
road out of the town was through darling desert 
skirting the base of the rock. I thought I saw water 
lagoons. It was mere mirage. We looked at the 
' tanks/ which are curious large reservoirs carved out 
of the mountain-side to capture the scanty rain, but 
they were empty. It seems they are little used nowa- 
days, since sea-water condensers have been installed. 
We returned across a burnt-out crater, and from thence 
through a dark tunnel to the port. The Arabs looked 
very African, and the multitude of camels, some tied 
one to another by the neck, dodelinant & la file towards 
the glare of Arabia, vividly recalled the darker con- 
tinent. Each camel had a black rider perched up on 
its hump, turbaned and draped for a ride of perhaps 
eight days or more through pitiless desert and parching 
wind. The fiery climate makes them fiery in temper, 
difficult to deal with I am told. 

The rock of Aden is absolutely arid, a monstrous 
peak of chocolate-coloured stone without a trace of 
vegetation. Water is collected from the clouds in 
cisterns or condensed from the sea, and only human 
ingenuity has caused a few plants to grow there in 
small gardens, attracting shy birds. I heard with 



BOMB.AY 5 

surprise the delicious notes of these wanderers 
whistling through the cool halls of the houses. 

We left in the evening, the gaunt shape gradually 
sinking into the dark-blue waters, as Canopus, Acher- 
nar and Fomalhant slowly rose in the south-eastern 
sky. Canopus is a glorious star, rivalling Sirius, more 
beautiful than Arcturus and, with the exception of 
Vega sheltering under the glittering wings of the 
Swan, the most brilliant star I have ever seen. 

Ten days of smoothly dancing seas, innumerable 
tiny clouds like feathers blowing across the sky. 
Games and races, swimming in a canvas tank rigged 
up for us by the kind Captain. The inevitable fancy- 
dress ball, where two of our lovely party achieve the 
success of the evening by appearing rolled up with 
golf-sticks and umbrellas in two many-labelled brown 
hold-alls, which were carried down the companion-way 
by a muscular mariner. It was the P. & O. of old- 
fashioned novels and early romance ! Only that the 
men did not twist long drooping moustaches, nor did 
the women wear Lily Lang try buns and bustles. 

i6tb November. Bombay. Is it possible? We 
moved through a hazy, faint turquoise sea, the air hot 
and damp. Groups crowded forward trying to descry 
the shores of Malabar in a bank of cloud to windward. 
At last within the cloud a pearl-white shape arose, then 
another and yet another : the towers of the * Gateway 
to India/ Slowly we neared them, the ghats of the 
eastern coast rising higher and higher, the lighthouse 
passed and the immensity of Bombay loomed before 
us as we drew close to the quay. 

A group of men in uniform, scarlet tunics, some in 



6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

sashes and turbans, were waiting on the docks (which, 
by the way, are very fine buildings belonging to the 
P. & O. offices). Foremost amongst them was Lord 
Lytton, who had come from Calcutta to meet his 
family. His daughters greeted him gaily, rapturously, 
his lovely consort more discreetly on the bridge. He 
later introduced an A.D.C. to me, who in turn intro- 
duced another, and I was led down the gangway, 
along the quay and further steps to the main entrance, 
saluted by the flaring pathiwallas, the armed native 
escort, and driven away in a waiting motor. We 
passed through a vast, humming, garish and modern 
city, along a palm-fringed avenue (cocoa-palms such 
as I had seen long ago in the West Indies), beside a 
medley of villas and gardens recalling in the most 
absurd way the foolish little houses outside Monte 
Carlo, until we reached the Back-Bay on our left 
beyond the trees. 

Suddenly we plunged down a sanded avenue, a 
tunnel of warm shadows, scented like a hot-house. 
Banyans, pipals and palms arched over us, smothered 
in strange creepers bearing enormous heart-shaped 
leaves. The banks on either side were thick with 
Kentias, ferns and many-coloured foliage. This 
beautiful alley-way between the faintly blue waters 
and the deep green leaves is the creation of a former 
Governor's wife, Lady Northcote. An inspiration 
indeed, enabling one to avoid a journey through almost 
two miles of rather close and ramshackle suburb, 
which was, in the old days, the only approach to 
Government House at Malabar Point. 

Government House is not a house at all I It is a 



BOMBAY 7 

village of gay bungalows all verandahs, white and 
yellow walls, deep windows with awnings of matting 
set in an English park ! In spite of its magnified 
cottage plan, the old State Bungalow is delightful in 
its luxurious spaciousness, height and dignity. It is 
here that every in- and outgoing Viceroy takes up and 
lays down his sceptre, and the ancient pillars within, 
dating from the reign of George IV, the girlish 
portrait of Queen Victoria, as well as the immense, 
glittering glass chandeliers, recall the old days when 
England's sons first arrived intent on their greatest 
adventure. My breath is taken away and my heart 
leaps at the magnitude of their adventure ! 

I cannot, perhaps, uphold the logic of England's 
conquest of India. I cannot approve of many actions 
taken by those men of the eighteenth and early nine- 
teenth centuries to establish and consolidate our power 
here. But who does not stand amazed at what the 
moderation, fairness and courage of England has done 
for India since those early struggles, who does not feel 
that only the firmest hands, the coolest brains and the 
greatest hearts could have wrought as England has ? 
Every Briton should come to India including doc- 
trinaire Socialists to see millions of men governed, 
directed, and saved from their ignorance and poverty 
by a mere handful of Englishmen. To see successfully 
applied on a vast scale the opposite policy of that 
fatal experiment, the dictatorship of the majority I 
The degradation of Petrograd and Moscow under the 
absolute control of the proletariat leaves some men 
unmoved and yet Bombay and Calcutta under the 
rule of the King-Emperor rouses them to fury. Ah I 



8 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Reason 1 Ah! Logic! Was La Rochefoucauld 
right in saying that language nay, I add even thought 
is but a cloak to hide our instincts and our passions 
and is not the cant of Communism no more than 
this? 

And here my own small adventure begins inspired 
by Lady Lloyd's proposal that I should visit her in 
India and the lucky coincidence that several of my 
friends were here and had asked me to stay with them. 

My hostess was playing tennis when I arrived. 
Captain Carmichael brought me to her and her wel- 
come alone repaid any tedium or discouragement the 
journey might have brought me. I myself was to stay 
several days in Bombay, but Lord and Lady Lytton 
and their lovely group left after dinner for their capital 
on the other side of India. It was delightful to have 
had them with us. The younger members of the party 
were full of fun, their happiness was contagious. 
They were interesting children as well, the Lyttons, 
remarkably so and small wonder when blessed with 
such parents. Lady Lytton with her grace and charm, 
her loveliness and her intelligent appreciation of all 
that is beautiful, and Lord Lytton, an exceptionally 
distinguished man; intellectual, well-read, with an 
acute and delicately balanced judgment ; his heart 
perhaps too greatly predominant. His idealism found 
in India a theatre for active achievement. He aimed 
at inculcating in the native a higher conception of life 
may it be added, our conception of life not theirs ! 
He told me that they were to be rescued by love 
forbearance coupled with justice that India should 
be governed by Indians, advised and guided by the 



BOMBAY 9 

best England could give. His refined and modulated 
voice, the light in his blue eyes seemingly kindled by 
a vision far beyond our common knowledge, almost 
persuaded me but I was strongly of opinion that the 
three and a half hundred million Indians, speaking 
nearly three hundred languages, could not be saved 
from themselves, for themselves, by themselves alone, 
so I held my peace. 

My host, Lord Lloyd, alert, vivid and full of instant 
decision and strong convictions, holds, I fancy, the 
view that England's paramount influence and direction 
must endure if this continent of incalculable differences 
is to flourish and that for the sake of peace and 
plenty and the steady development of India, no flinch- 
ing in the task we have set ourselves must be tolerated 
that we have set our hand to the plough and must 
not turn back. His active movements, his eager 
dignity, the decision flashing from his brown eyes, even 
his agreeably harsh, abrupt voice, proclaim the man. 

Most scrupulous were the forms and etiquette 
maintained in his Government House. We assembled 
in the State Bungalow before dinner. Their Excel- 
lencies were announced by the aides-de-camp, they 
shook hands with us, and he walked in before the 
company with the most honoured guest on his arm, 
while the native servants, bearded and stern, in their 
turbans and red tunics, stood about the table in the 
lofty room with their hands folded as is the Indian 
custom as though in supplication before their 
master. The band played gaily, the food was delicious, 
and we rose to drink the health of the Sovereign at 
the end of our pleasant repast. 



10 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

It was here I first tasted the paw-paw, an orange- 
coloured, most luscious and refreshing fruit, as well as 
several delicious Indian dishes and Anglo-Indian drinks. 

My host and hostess wanted me to go to Deolali 
with them for a farewell ceremony, as they were leaving 
India in a few weeks, but as it entailed rising at 6.30 
the next morning I reluctantly declined and awaited 
their return, passing the day reading and resting. I 
had tea with the agreeable Irene Adam, the wife of 
H.E/s private secretary. She was most kind, and it 
was interesting to see her modern house, somewhat 
American in style, with deep verandahs and a scarcity 
of furniture appropriate to a hot climate. 

i8/>6 November. We went in the Government 
launch to Elephanta, the holy island in Bombay har- 
hour. There lie hidden the famous caves where 
ancient Hindus worshipped. It is a hilly and thickly- 
wooded country, where very tall fan-leaved palms 
(like PriUhardia) rise superbly on their bare swaying 
stems far above the thickets beneath. We climbed 
many solidly built stone stairs, under overarching 
verdure, and followed meandering pathways until at 
last we came upon some tumble-down tea-houses 
surrounded by wooden railings under a wonderful 
banyan. The air-roots of this strange tree float from 
the upper branches earthwards, where they cling, sink 
and strike root. The feathery fibres harden into trunks 
and these in time develop leaves and blossoms. A 
symbol ? We must turn to Earth, the Mother, before 
we can flower anew. 

Beyond this, suddenly, we came upon towering 
crags and a cliff worked smooth by the chisel. Beneath 



BOMBAY II 

it yawned an immense cavern, the inner gloom of 
which was relieved by a faintly glimmering daylight. 
The old artificers seemed to have understood the 
magic of light and shadow, for, if the great carvings, 
hewn from the living rock at regular and carefully 
measured distances within the cave, were seen in the 
glare of day, they would lose infinitely in impressive- 
ness and appear theatrical and almost tawdry. Even 
as it is, in spite of the cleverly managed lighting two 
inner caves on either side are open to the sky, and 
communicate with the main temple through vast aper- 
tures and notwithstanding the mystic silence, only 
broken by the voice of cooing doves and the echo of 
footsteps on the stony floor, these carvings in high 
relief and larger than life-size, convey to the Western 
mind an impression of purely sensual activity. The 
overcrowding of the great panels, the lack of pro- 
portion in the various and multiple figures introduced, 
the frank delight in voluptuous form, all tend to 
frivolity and to distraction from the central idea, 
nobly symbolized in the magnificent sculptured group 
of the Trimurti (or three-in-one), a manifestation of 
the Hindu Godhead. 

This is a colossal bust, 16 feet high I believe, a group 
of three immense faces carved out of the rock within a 
lofty recess in the wall opposite the entrance. Brahma, 
unfathomable, ironic and serene in full face ; Siva the 
propagator and destroyer on the right Vishnu the 
preserver on the left. Siva sinister and sensual, 
Vishnu smiling ; the two profiles singularly arresting, 
their dramatic human quality apprehended beside the 
mystery of Brahma, the creator of all. 



12 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

It seemed to me to be a cruel Trinity : ruthless, 
cynical, curiously devoid of any spiritual significance ; 
proclaiming doom and the supreme impotence of man. 
This, however, might have been a temple of love com- 
pared with others which I saw later. Only one panel 
depicts cruelty : an irate, grimacing god hacking 
human victims to pieces ; the others present scenes of 
happiness, feasting, marriage and the more joyous 
aspects of life. 

The characteristic columns, their bases square, 
abruptly changing into fluted shafts half-way up, are 
somewhat squat and appear to support the cavern roof 
which is cut away quite flat and horizontally. The 
carvings are well restored and everything is kept in 
order, although the Hindus apparently no longer 
worship there excepting on special feast days. The 
symbol of Siva, the stone cylinder or lingam, is distri- 
buted upon altars in several shrine-like recesses, and 
on either side, where the cave opens out upon the 
courts with steps on the East and a tank of water on 
the West you are led to similar shrines. One won- 
ders how the priests performed their rites and what 
aid or solace those ironic gods could have bestowed 
on their prostrate worshippers. 

This form of superstition had its source in the 
ancient Books of Wisdom, the Vedas. These taught 
deeper truths as humanity gradually recognized the 
verities underlying all symbols and their interpreters, 
the Brahmins, originally evolved this huge Pantheon 
of gods, one to suit almost every man, woman or 
child. The later, more tender and spiritual religion 
called Buddhism, taught by the generous-hearted 







TIIK TRIMIIRTI, KLK1MI AN'IA CAVES, BOMBAY HARBOUR 



Face p. 12 




BUDDHIST SHRINE, AJANTA (SEE P. 194) 



Face p. 13 



BOMBAY 13 

Gautama from beneath his Bo-Tree about 530 B.C., 
reached its greatest power in India for only some nine 
or ten centuries, from the time of Asoka (272 to 
231 B.C.) to about that of the influx of Mohamme- 
danism, 800 A.D., and could not withstand the old 
beliefs, becoming gradually absorbed into the much 
more universal Brahmanism, or to be more correct, 
Hinduism. So for millions of souls in India, the gods 
of Irony, of Cruelty and of Sensuality have still their 
compelling power and the laws of their priests, the 
Brahmins, still hold good. 

I learned to my surprise that there are scarcely any 
Buddhists left in India proper, only an insignificant 
two or three hundred thousand out of over three 
hundred million inhabitants, and those are in Bengal, 
Kashmir and Sikkim ; the rest, ten millions only, are 
in Burma. Of course a great part of China and Japan 
is still Buddhistic. However, the Hindus (apart from 
their rock-temples) builded so flimsily that little 
exists of their early Brahmin work, and the oldest 
architectural remains to be found in India, much in- 
fluenced by Greek work and ideals, are Buddhist. 

The Jain prophet Mahavira was born actually before 
Buddha (563 B.C. to 483 B.C.), but the existing Jain 
monuments were built much later. I could not 
attempt to make the history of the art of India clear 
without long pages of dissertation. Suffice it to say 
that Buddhist, Hindu (this category divided into Indo- 
Aryan in the North and Dravidian in the South) and 
Moslem architecture, are the main divisions and follow 
different expressions of art. (Elephanta is Indo-Aryan, 
dating from about the middle of the eighth century.) 



14 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Their Excellencies returned in the evening : dinner 
and bridge. The staff was very pleasant : Captain 
Rawstorne, Military Secretary ; Major Nethersole, 
Commander of the Bodyguard ; Mr Forbes Adam, 
Private Secretary ; Colonel Grafton Young, Medical 
Secretary ; and the aides-de-camp, Captains Car- 
michael, John Aird and Lynch. 

20//& November. I go with T.T.E.E. to the Farewell 
Meeting at St. Xavier's Jesuit College. An interesting 
afternoon. 1200 pupils mostly Indians, of whom 
about 200 are Catholics advanced students with a 
high average of scholarship, judging by the good 
speech made by an Indian gentleman. Great cheers 
for H.E. 

21 st November. Swim at 8.30 a.m. A sea of pale 
amethyst, Bombay a city of pearl on the horizon. A 
curious flat-prowed, double-boat manned by a gaunt 
brown figure in a huge turban and nondescript 
draperies floated near by in case of danger, and the 
sun blazed from behind a gauze of morning mist. I 
swam out into an all enfolding warmth, panted on the 
steps of a quaint craft, decorated with a dragon's head 
on the bow, and slowly paddled back. It was less 
refreshing than I had expected, the water was tepid, 
the air heavy, but an amusing experience. 

We dined with M. Calvocoressi and Mr Ponsonby. 
Very well done. Absolutely European excepting the 
servants, who seemed to have stepped out of an 
Eastern tale : turbaned, silent and in spotless white. 

It is odd how startled one is at first suddenly to 
perceive a black-faced figure at one's elbow, or outside 
the windows and doors along the verandah ! Indian 



BOMBAY 15 

servants are soundless. Only the eye, never the ear, 
notes their presence, and their voices are low and 
muttering. It is somewhat uncanny also to sleep with 
windows opening wide on to the ground and doors 
ajar ! Regardless of cobra, leopard or robber, in the 
sublime faith that no one will suddenly think of 
murdering, or robbing, or even merely frightening 
you. 

22nd November. Miss Rosamund Grosvenor, a 
fellow-guest, Captain Lynch and I drove off in the 
motor to see the Towers of Silence. We had to obtain 
special cards for the privilege, and passed through part 
of the city and along some beautifully tended grass- 
bordered avenues until we reached a park enclosed by 
lofty stone walls high above the town. At the top of 
a long flight of steps we were met by a wrinkled old 
Parsee, who guided us up to a still higher terrace 
where we heard voices chanting, much as in a Catholic 
church. They seemed to come from a low, stuccoed 
building on a terrace beyond, the roof of which was 
supported by large, low arches, and over the arcades 
were hung loosely falling blinds of bamboo or reed, 
brightly coloured. The place suggested an Italian 
Garden-House, with its loggia-like effect, and from 
the terrace we discovered a beautiful view over the 
gorgeous sweep of Bombay. 

But it is not a Garden-House, in spite of pots of 
flowers standing about and plants blooming around 
it ; it is the Parsee Tabernacle. Within, so the guide 
tells us, are two rooms for worship : one, the outer, 
where all Parsees may go ; another, the inner shrine, 
where only the priests are allowed to enter, with 



l6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

apron and cowl and a veil before their mouths, to 
tend the sacred, ever-burning flame which glows 
within. 

It is strange that such a glorious symbol as an ever- 
lasting fire should be housed with its acolytes in such 
an inappropriate building. In fact the grim Towers 
of Silence are set in the most frivolous surroundings. 
On arrival the visitor is deceived by the gay loggia 
and the lovely gardens, where palms, ferns, pipal and 
banyan trees blend their silvery greens. For suddenly, 
down an apparently romantic lovers'-walk, you come 
upon the Altars of Death. You see a low, round stone 
tower with an entrance cut about a third of the way up, 
which is approached by steps. The top of the tower 
is encircled, apparently, by a parapet, and strangely 
unpleasant sight upon this parapet, gorged with their 
ghoulish repast, are perched enormous vultures with 
large sleek bodies, tiny heads and thin necks. 

In the midst of this scented garden rise five of these 
Towers, almost buried in verdure. A model is shown 
of their interior, the originals of which only a special 
hierarchy, the Corpse Bearers/ are ever allowed to 
enter. 

The bodies of dead Parsees are laid, quite bare, upon 
stone degrees, which slope towards the middle of the 
Tower, where a pit receives the bones of the deceased 
as soon as they are stripped of all flesh by the waiting 
vultures that process taking from about half-an- 
hour to over two hours I was told. The bones gradu- 
ally crumble, disintegrate and are washed away, and 
thus is fulfilled the Parsee (or ancient Persian or 
Zoroastrian) desire that the holy elements of Fire, 



BOMBAY 17 

Water and Earth should not be polluted by human 
decay. 

It was one of the most curious scenes I have ever 
witnessed, the cheerful old guide explaining the 
process in very good English, himself a future repast 
for the sinister scavengers seated silent and motionless 
in horrid rows above each charnel-house. 

We went on to a garden party given by the Willing- 
don Club to T.T.E.E. to bid them good-bye, and I 
sat beside Sir Jamjitsu Jeejeebhoy a handsome 
Parsee, a most agreeable and loyal subject of the 
King's. (I did not tell him where I had been.) I was 
surprised to see all the Parsee ladies in saris, the 
graceful Indian dress, which is evidently derived from 
the Greek himation, and always becoming. 

H.H. the Jam Sahib and the Thakore Sahib of 
Politana had luncheon at Government House. The 
first-named, really a Maharajah, was a perfect man of 
the world what great gentlemen the Indian Princes 
are and he is as cultivated as any clever European. 
He wore a white muslin turban with tiny mauve 
flowers printed thereon and a sort of Stambouline or 
long black tunic, looser than the * Turkish Curate's.' 
He spoke English to perfection, almost dropping into 
slang. The Thakore, whom I first fancied to be his 
friend and disciple, is a King with his own Kingdom. 
He looked thirty-five and is only twenty-two ; he 
played tennis extremely well in the afternoon and in 
the evening attended the Lev^e in a dazzling gauze 
and silver turban and a Louis XV redingote of silver- 
grey satin damask. I did not recognize him after his 
first appearance turbanless and in flannels. 



l8 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

The Lev6e was a fine sight and excellently con- 
ducted. The dining-room in the State Bungalow, 
where Lord and Lady Lloyd usually dined, was turned 
into a Throne Room. T.T.E.E. stood upon a dais 
while their staff were occupied in marshalling the 
guests past them. A scarlet-covered rope held by the 
hugely tall and slender native bodyguard was stretched 
across the room in front of the dais to keep the crowd 
from pressing too far forward. About a thousand 
guests passed through and, after assembling in the 
great drawing-room and the vast verandahs beyond, 
dispersed to the tents on the lawns or into the immense 
supper-pavilion on the edge of the lazily breaking seas. 

The dinner that evening was served in the small 
dining-room in the Governor's living bungalow. The 
Governor of Goa, the Portuguese possession in India, 
and Madame Moraes were the guests of honour. Lady 
Lloyd, with her charming tact, put the rather shy 
Portuguese lady at her ease, and she told us about the 
curious and beautiful old churches still standing in 
Goa, filled with sacred treasures. Amongst others 
the bones of the Saint of Travellers (or who should be 
so), St. Francis Xavier, the Spanish monk, who con- 
verted thousands of natives to Christianity both in 
India and in Japan, and died at or near Goa in 1552. 

A very picturesque variety of guests were at the 
Leve. The Indian gentlemen in brilliant turbans 
and long coats, the Europeans gay with orders and 
ribbons, the Parsee gentlemen in their strangely 
original head-covering, made like a high cap in 
patent-leather, and supposed to represent the hoof 
of a cow I 



BOMBAY 19 

The old story recounts that when the Persians (or 
Parsees), still clinging to their ancient religion, fled 
to India to escape the proselytizing Mohammedans, 
the Hindus consented to their settling in their land on 
the condition that they should bow their head to 
Lakshmi (whose symbol is a cow), the wife of Vishnu 
the Preserver. 

^A t th November. I wandered through an old quarter 
of Bombay, down long steps, where ancient houses 
on either side stood irregularly grouped with carven 
corbels supporting overhanging balconies, brightly 
painted, and shadowed by unexpected foliage. Of a 
sudden I came upon a Hindu temple with its strange 
truncated spire, its outline fretted and broken by design 
and figure, rising grey and silver against a pale sky. 
Beneath its shadow lay a sheet of shimmering water held 
within a great, wide tank, graceful steps led down to its 
blue surface far below ; and, guarding the approaches, 
tall lats (looking to me like something between a 
dovecote and a Chinese bell-tower) stood at each dis- 
tant corner. Clustered all about and sheltering curious 
sculptured figures of cow or elephant were number- 
less small shrines and temples, the angular roofs of 
which made a pleasant contrast to the broad eaves of 
the houses beyond, half embowered in trees. 

Soft-eyed bullocks encumbered the narrow alleys 
where children ran in and about, calling lustily, where 
the pigeons murmured their soothing reiteration 
and, high above, the wheeling swallows lanced and 
screamed in the warm air, while bare bronze figures 
stepped majestically downward to the waters of the 
holy cistern. 



20 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

zjtb November. We went to church. The lesson 
' Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl 
be broken/ was read. The beauty of it is almost 
startling and holds the pang of unforgotten sorrows. 

Lord Lloyd drove me back to Government House. 
His character is inspired by hope, courage and tireless 
energy and, oddly rare in combination with such 
virtues, he responds to artistic appeal and is also singu- 
larly sensitive and full of fun. His wife is his comple- 
ment. Her grace, serenity, and gentleness create a 
perfect balance. His greatest danger, perhaps, may 
be too much impulse in action and an inclination to 
impatience of other people's limitations. He speaks 
well, with that odd, partly rasping, partly nasal, wholly 
arresting voice, which, rough as it sometimes is, can 
be strangely musical and sonorous. Not often have 
two such delightful persons represented their Majesties 
in their distant dominions. 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 

i-jth November. I left for Bhopal. An Indian State 
of nearly 7000 square miles, ruled by an intelligent 
and enlightened princess : the Begum Sultan Jehan, 
the third woman ruler of Bhopal in this century. She 
visited Turkey in the summer of 1911, where I first 
met her, and I was much looking forward to seeing her 
again. I had engaged a ' Bearer/ or Hindu courier, 
as I felt sure I should lose Odam (my maid) first and 
perhaps myself next if I travelled alone. He seemed 
to sleep in the clouds and feed on air, but was always 
at hand and ready to help and pack and make tea and 
follow the luggage. Captain Rawstorne had made 
out my itinerary. Captain Lynch took me to the 
station and I was delighted with the railway-carriage : 
a long saloon, with a broad leather-covered seat 
running down it on both sides under the windows. 
The carriages are also provided with slatted shutters 
which keep out the glare while allowing the wind to 
sift through. Space is no luxury in India. 

I slept, strange to say I We had our own bedding, 
packed in huge canvas bags, lent by Government 
House, and though I knew I was to be awakened at 
4 a.m. I never opened my eyes. 

It was only really hot at the start (about 88 to 90 in 
the dining-car, I fancy), but with our six windows open 
and electric fans twirling the heat was quite bearable. 



12 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

After leaving Bombay the hills rose suddenly about 
us strange, curiously-shaped mountains with fabu- 
lous outlines : pyramidal, tower-shaped, domed ; one 
of them pointed a single, fiery finger towards the 
burning sky. These heights rose and sank, encircled 
us and then melted away with their green valleys and 
rushing streams until they dropped slowly below a 
golden horizon, faintly blue against the quivering 
distance. 

Everywhere fine isolated trees dot the plains, indeed 
so park-like is the effect that, unless closely scrutinized, 
they can be mistaken for oak, acacia, or even ash trees, 
and yet they are every one exotic. The scene is one 
of almost unmarred beauty. The absence of mechani- 
cal artifice came to me as an immense relief. I wonder 
why ? Why is it that a thatched hut, surrounded by a 
hedge of glowing banana-leaves and mud walls, 
appears more harmonious to the eye than a granite 
twin-cottage with square windows, a gravel path, a 
smoking chimney, and 'Lansdowne Lodge' neatly 
painted on its iron gate ? 

The impression has nothing to do with ethics of any 
kind. The former dwelling denotes ignorance, dis- 
comfort, lack of sanitation and idolatry ; the latter 
so-called modern civilization ! There you have the 
concentration of horror in three words. And yet 
without that civilization, would it be possible for us 
to appreciate the beauty of those conditions which 
belong to the distant past ? 

In this lovely land, as well as in our own, there is, 
of course, a development from the thatched cabin. 
There are the fairy palaces in rose-red stone, the 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 2J 

arcaded galleries, and watchful turrets. But they are 
the outcome of another civilization and are unutterably 
lovelier than the buildings that Western art has 
evolved in all her latest inventive pride. 

Perhaps beauty is sensuous after all. Pillared cool- 
ness in a hot land, protective eaves in a cold one 
open courts of hospitable ease within safe boundaries, 
towers of strong defence on warring borders ; the 
brave arm and delicate hand of man himself impressing 
his living personality upon wood or stone the bower 
built for beauty, the column raised for fame the arch 
springing to worship these bear material witness to 
the shaping spirit of man and to his creative passion. 
No such fires melt our steel-ribbed cloud-catchers, no 
such tremor moulds our concrete spanning our 
cement spires. 

2y/>6 November. Bhopal. I arrived at 5 a.m. and 
descended from my dusty express into the dry-soft 
air of Bhopal, all silver moonlight and golden starlight 
wisps of cloud veiling the radiance here and there. 

A stout, dark gentleman in a military coat and a 
turban came forward to welcome me and then gave 
orders in a low tone to six or seven sombre figures in 
native lack of costume who seized our boxes and 
bags and rushed about like ants, eventually carrying 
them across a fine stone and iron bridge over the 
railway-track, to where an open motor awaited us, 
but nothing else. I slipped on my fur coat as the 
hour before dawn was fresh and stepped in, inquiring 
about the luggage. " Oh ! yes," answered my kind 
welcomer in excellent English "the * transport' 
will take it all 1 " So the * bearer/ dark Samji, in his 



24 LAND OP THE GOLD MOHUR 

polo-cap (all, or nearly all, town Hindus wear polo- 
caps, whereas all, or nearly all, Indian polo-players 
wear turbans !) remained alone in command of the 
ants and the boxes. 

After starting swiftly down a beautiful avenue we 
passed an apparently derelict waggon by the roadside, 
to which were yoked two alarmed bullocks the gentle 
cattle of the land, greyish-white with pointed humps 
upon their withers. I must here remark that they 
are really zebus ! (The final picture in my illustrated 
alphabet. I never heard them called by their proper 
name, and the bullocks were often cows 1) The cart 
seemed to have been abandoned in a corner of the 
road and the animals, with their lowered heads, shone 
silver in the moonlight. We stopped a passing way- 
farer was questioned he appeared to express complete 
detachment, upon which we wheeled about, returned 
to the ants and the ' bearer ' when a few quiet words 
from my guide acted like a wisp of straw thrown on 
to an ant-hill I Agitated brown limbs sped toward 
the stranded cart and its shy, lonely team. That was 
the * transport ' I 

The guest-house was a charming, though very 
western-looking building, one storey in height and 
entirely built of stone. It had very high ceilings, 
which I revel in, a deep- arched verandah against 
which crowded great fan-leaved palms poinsettias 
flamed beyond and white butterflies hovered near their 
fire outside, mysterious trees clapped myriad leaves 
making a sound like running water. White chrysan- 
themums gleamed in hundreds of pots and below the 
red gravel of the terrace a fountain reflected the pale 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 25 

sky. Within, everything (excepting the extreme 
height of the rooms) was English, even to the bunches 
of crowded flowers in vases, the ash-trays, chintz- 
covers and thick pile carpet. 

I fell into a mosquito-net-covered iron bed (placed, 
as usual, in the middle of the room for more air) and 
slept well into the day ! After a quiet luncheon Her 
Highness the Begum's Military Secretary came to take 
me to visit the town of Bhopal. 

On the gently sloping hills, on the border of a satin 
sheet of blue, Bhopal unfolds itself like a group of 
gay flowers beside the lake; rose and white and 
saffron, the faded blossoms, the tumbling buildings, 
left to fall, left to die, as is the Oriental custom, where 
once they bloomed and shone in glory. 

All the houses are low, with the exception of 
occasional slender, domed turrets or elegant colon- 
nades which rise upon arches and are built about wide 
courts. Some are glittering white, others rose-red. 
We drove through mighty gates (as in Fez), we 
passed through open, clean streets where the sun 
shone and the fresh air blew (not as in Fez). I heard 
the muezzin chanted from a dozen minarets and I 
noted the same strange gaze in the eyes of the people ; 
half wondering, half disdainful, as in the eyes of the 
Moors. 

Bhopal is a Mohammedan State, wisely and effi- 
ciently ruled by the Princess Sultan Jehan ; she has 
accomplished wonderful things to enlighten and in- 
form her subjects. For instance, she has built and 
filled a Library, where there were collected some fine 
Persian books and marvellous Korans ; some written 



26 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

in such infinitesimal script that they can scarcely be 
deciphered even with the aid of a magnifying glass. 
It contained mostly English books, all good as far as 
I could see but I wonder how much they are used ? 
A pretty building, cared for by a christianized native. 
I returned to my lonely meal in a lofty room opposite 
the drawing-room. No native dishes, everything 
A I'anglaise and very good ; even savouries and 
porridge for breakfast (which latter, by the way, I 
detest). 

It is the custom in India for the Princes to lodge 
their guests in specially built guest-houses where 
every care and comfort are lavished upon them 
and where their privacy and wishes are perfectly re- 
spected. 

z%th November. I visited several native schools and 
had an audience of Her Highness the Begum. 

The schools proved most pathetically interesting. 
The first, ' The Asafia Technical School/ the name of 
which terrified me, I found to be composed of groups 
of native women seated on the ground under loggias 
within a court (extremely like Fez), sewing the 
simplest garments. Several native ladies, quite non- 
descript in coiffure and costume, were there to receive 
me. Their welcome was so kind, their work, exposed 
for sale, so quaint and the perfumed flower-garlands 
they hung about my silken summer gown so strangely 
delightful, that I longed for such technicalities else- 
where. 

Then the * Sultaniah School/ housed in a former 
Begum's Audience-Palace. It was charming architec- 
turally, again like Fez (though without the fine tiles), 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 27 

and at the end of the inner court, inside hugely heavy 
doors, I discovered a large room filled with tiny 
brown girls draped in vivid green tarlatan and holding 
small Union Jacks in their hands. I was conducted 
to a chair by a plump and pretty young Indian lady in 
European dress, and all at once the hundred and more 
little brown girls, all eyeing me brightly and ready to 
burst into smiles, started singing ' Welcome/ a song 
in such eccentric English that I could barely catch a 
few words. Poor dears I Did they know the meaning 
of the strange sounds ? They then played some games, 
recited some poetry and finished with God Save the 
King. I was delighted and left them with regret. 
Indian children are enchanting, so gentle, dignified 
and pretty. 

Another smaller school I also visited the c Vic- 
toria * where an agreeable Indian teacher, in her 
graceful sari, put her pupils through various paces to 
the summons of a striking bell ; so, after more compli- 
ments and a brief visit to the Ladies' Club housed in 
an immense room which was ornamented by photo- 
graphs of many female Sultans and Viceregal ladies 
and placed at the disposal of the Moslem ladies for 
classes in first-aid as well as meetings, I went to pay 
respects to Her Highness the Begum. 

I was received in her private dwelling, a few miles 
outside her lovely rose and magnolia city. It was 
a quaint, rambling, rather ramshackle house with 
smallish rooms opening one out of the other in a 
confusing manner. One of her daughters-in-law, 
whom I had known when she was a little girl in 
Turkey, received me in a moderate-sized sitting-room 



28 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

after I had been met and conducted through the halls 
by an English lady-in-waiting. No eunuchs appeared. 
Her Highness greeted me most kindly. We spoke 
together of old days, the young Princess addressing 
me in fluent English, and then a most mysterious and 
lovely figure appeared and held me spellbound. She 
was draped in an exquisite sari (veil) of deep orange 
gauze shot with gold, her full skirts and her shoes, 
pointed and curled up at the toes, were embroidered 
in gold. Her hands were covered with a net of 
jewelled gold fastened to her glittering rings which 
shone on every finger ; and from her pretty brown 
nose hung a large pearl mounted in gold and diamonds. 
Her lustrous black hair was parted demurely in the 
middle of her brow, her large eyes discreetly veiled 
by their dark lids. She sank into a chair and sat silent 
and motionless, her hands spread on each knee, 
hieratic and speechless. She was an enchantment. 
Thus the beauties of the Thousand Nights and One 
appeared before their Lords, thus they still appear to 
the Maharajahs of our time. This lady's husband is 
a ruling Prince. 

Then the Begum made her entrance. Her Highness 
is a short stoutish lady and was of course unveiled, 
although in public a shawl of heavy damask or satin 
covers her from head to foot and only two slits, like 
stretched button-holes, show where her bright, brown 
eyes are glittering beneath. She has, as have all 
Oriental princes of high family, great dignity, a noble 
bearing and gracious ease. A remarkably acute judg- 
ment, an unusual gift of common sense, a cultivated 
mind and high ambition raise her to the peculiarly 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 29 

exalted position which she upholds, both in England 
and in India, with wisdom and prudence. She is 
venerated by her subjects, most loyal to the Paramount 
Power, and a great influence for good in India, and 
wherever Moslems are found. She gave me some 
books she had written in English I read them with 
deep interest. 

^<)th November. Her Highness, learning of my desire 
to explore Sanchi, the ancient Buddhist holy hill, sent 
me there by train under the escort of the Librarian, 
M. Ghosal of Calcutta. On arrival I found a bungalow 
of three rooms to shelter my maid and myself for 
the night, while our cicerone was in another guest- 
house close by, but we had our meals together. 
Soon after our short journey, we climbed the height 
where are situated the famous Shrines (topes or 
dagobas). 

A long flight of steps, interspaced by easy gradients, 
and the summit of the sacred mount is reached. The 
early builders chose the site of their monuments well, 
for, upon this quiet hill-top commanding a gently 
undulating plain bathed, when we first saw it, in the 
glow of the declining sunlight, the group of strange, 
cylindrically shaped mounds sheathed in stone, 
crowned by hemispherical domes and guarded by 
barriers and gateways of carved rock, stand out in 
imposing grandeur. The sublime peace of the con- 
templative spirit broods there and I regretted that the 
teachings of the great Saint had almost disappeared 
from the Indias. These topes are of various sizes, but 
all once held venerated relics of the Buddha, or ashes 
of Buddhist saints hidden within a central chamber ; 



30 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

all are partially covered by stone casings and are 
surrounded by immensely high barriers of stone, 
carved to resemble wood. At the four points of the 
compass stand four lofty toranas (or gateways) with 
heavy lintels overhanging the posts, also of carved 
stone. The torii of Japan I presume are an evolution 
of these structures, at any rate they are strikingly 
similar, and these toranas at Sanchi precede the torii 
of the East. 

The domes of the topes are very simple, the balus- 
trades equally so, forming a bold interlacing design ; 
the toranas alone rear their height in decorative rich- 
ness, bearing proudly the story, in figure and in flower, 
of great Gautama the Buddha. Four statues of the 
celestial Buddha sit close to the plinth of the greater 
mound and are of very good style. These stupas, as 
they may strictly be termed, date from about 100 B.C., 
they have been since much repaired ; the toranas and 
balustrades date from that period to about the end 
of the first century B.C. Some of the sculpture in low 
relief on the gateposts and lintels is intensely interest- 
ing, not only on account of the beauty and decorative 
quality shown, but also because of the amazing medley 
of styles. Imagine a Japanese or Chinese gate, 
decorated with friezes in the Hellenistic manner, with 
touches of the Byzantine and Assyrian besides 1 One 
panel is purely renaissance : flower, medallion and 
figure : simply bewildering ! Those carvings which 
are precursors of Byzantine art are of the later period, 
so also are the carved lions with the same strongly- 
marked claws reminiscent of Romanesque sculpture. 
The Assyrian winged bull, strayed so far from his 




NORTH GATE OF GREAT STUPA, SANC'HL 



Fate p. 30 




TORANA (GATE) GREAT STUPA, SANCIII, 



Face p. 31 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 3! 

Persian lair, confronts you with teaming unexpected- 
ness, and the snake with the curling tail just as he is 
portrayed in far-off Norway 1 It is as though all 
styles of art and all symbols of worship had met upon 
the grey surface of these stones which have remained 
inviolate for over 2000 years ! Some students allege 
that the wonderful preservation of the carvings is 
due to their having once been covered by a coating 
of gold or silver leaf. At all events it is amazing. 

Besides the Great Stupa and several smaller ones, 
a few chapels, or chaityas, are dotted about upon the 
sacred hill and, seeing them against the background of 
purple hills and fading distances, one is struck by their 
curiously Greek proportions. 

One or two of these later chapels still enshrine a 
dignified figure of the Buddha who throughout the 
centuries has sat there unmoved in smiling contem- 
plation. A small museum contains some remarkable 
sculpture ; some of the early Buddhist or * Gandhara * 
style show strong Greek influence, particularly in the 
disposition of the draperies. 

I asked my courteous and extremely well-informed 
guide whether Oriental visitors were impressed, as I 
had been, by the all pervading religious atmosphere 
of this ancient and holy spot. He replied that the 
Chinese viewed it with apparent indifference, the 
Japanese with reverence ; he added that the Siamese 
Princes had been much impressed and truly moved. 

Sir John Marshall, the Curator in Chief, restorer of 
Sanchi and of many other Indian monuments, is to be 
congratulated on the wonderful work he has accom- 
plished here, aided by the sympathy and help of the 



52 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Begum and of the Government of India. And here 
I must add that wherever I went I found all monu- 
ments of beauty and historic interest preserved, with 
enlightened taste and reverent care. To those who 
value every link in the mighty chain of history and of 
artistic evolution, the work accomplished and main- 
tained by the British and Indian Governments, inspired 
in great measure by Lord Curson and faithfully 
continued by his successors, is beyond praise. Only 
those who know the Oriental indifference to time 
and time's depredations will appreciate the inestim- 
able value of what the English have achieved in their 
effort to save the artistic and historic treasures of 
India. 

$oth November. I drove along the lake to have tea 
with the Begum's daughter-in-law, one of the most 
beautiful women I had ever seen : her profile is of 
Greek purity, the oval of her face impeccable, and, set 
in the magnolia petal of her skin, smoulder the un- 
fathomable eyes of the Indian woman, her lips curved 
in an inscrutable smile. She seems to hold a secret, 
too sad to tell, and smiles trying to hush the sorrow 
of it. Poor lady, her husband was ill, I did not see 
him he was dying of a mysterious malady. Some 
whispered that he had deadly enemies who were slowly 
poisoning him, but his sons, two fine young men, 
made their cheerful entrance, and took me over the 
gay and spacious abode where they proudly showed 
me some admirable tigers in glass cases which they 
had shot in the neighbouring jungle. 

Here I may say that an Indian * jungle ' is much like 
a Scotch * forest ' ! Where in the latter are the trees ? 



BHOPAL AND SANCHI 33 

In the former where the tangle of fern and palm, of 
bamboo and orchid ? 

Although the servants were native, dinner at the 
Begum's summer residence was served quite in Euro- 
pean style. The food was cooked & Fanglaise, with 
the exception of a delicious pilaw and an amusing 
sweet wrapped in real silver-leaf 1 It must be eaten 
silver-leaf and all ! I did so and survived. A hand- 
some young Moslem, a cousin of Her Highness's, was 
present ; he looked very elegant in his beautiful 
turban and talked perfect English ; there was also the 
wife of Her Highness's third son, a most agreeable 
young woman in a graceful sari (incidentally the image 
of Madame Thierry, nee de Rothschild). After dinner 
she played on the piano (as I used and had to do when 
I was fifteen), and so did her little girl. We listened 
to them, all huddled together in an extremely ugly 
little room stuffy and dark and full of English * sea- 
side * furniture. And yet there are numerous lovely 
palaces in Bhopal waiting to be repaired and in- 
habited. 

It was a delightful evening, and I shall never forget 
Her Highness's perfect hospitality and gracious wel- 
come. She made me promise to return. She even 
proposed to give me a house to live in and offered me 
the position of Head-Mistress in a Girls' School. 
There I could read, and expound, and teach little 
children to paint in water-colours pictures of their 
own land which is itself a perfect aquarelle. It seemed 
a fairy tale, all told too soon. 



UDAIPUR 

ist December. I leave for the heart of Rajputana : 
Udaipur. 

Two days in a rattling railway carriage and one 
night sleeping on a cane-lounge in the waiting-room 
at Ratlan 1 We were late, and on nearing the junction 
I looked out into the warm night only to see the 
glitter and shadow of the train to Udaipur moving 
slowly away, and no other connection until next 
morning ! There were no keys to the doors of the 
great ' Salle d'Attente/ where I spent the night, no 
locks even, and crowds of Indian travellers outside 
moving languidly to and fro from dusk to dawn ; 
but no one disturbed me, and I rested fairly well. 

After numberless changes I eventually reached 
Udaipur the next night quite tired out, but was cheered 
on arrival by the welcome of a kind Hindu gentle- 
man in an exquisite puggaree and a neat khaki uniform 
also by a motor, a lovely starlit drive and another 
luxurious guest-house. 

Luckily, I still had with me my nice Hindu courier, 
Samji, who took as excellent care of my maid as I did 
myself, so all was well. All she did was to pack and 
unpack and look very superior, though I hope she 
enjoyed the variety and the comfort we found every- 
where. 

yd December. My polite escort is the A.D.C to 

35 



36 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

the Heir-Apparent the Maharaj Kumar and also 
Superintendent of the Ruler's guest-house just outside 
the town. 

I started with him the next morning to visit the 
Palaces on the hill overhanging the lake a faint blue 
lake imprisoned in the fold of faint blue hills and over 
all the vaults of Heaven faintly blue. 

We entered the enchanted city by high and imposing 
gates. They pierce the rose-coloured crenellated walls 
with which Udaipur is surrounded and lead to the 
main street through which we drove from one 
Arabian Nights' court to another. 

We passed the Juggernath temple to Vishnu rising 
above its long, high flight of steps, where carven 
elephants in stone trumpet on either side ; thence 
through a magnificent three-arched gateway into the 
Palace courtyard itself. I was then led up broad, high 
steps (the steps are all very high in these ancient 
buildings of India, as in Morocco), through heavy 
doors, past strange idols : elephant-headed images 
carved and painted in their niches on the walls : and 
finally reached a large open court high in air, where 
nondescript unsoldierlike soldiers in khaki and turbans 
lounged about at ease. They rose, however, as we 
appeared, looking at us in a dreamily amused but 
amiably superior manner. 

My guide left a nice pair of patent-leather pumps at 
the bottom of some steps and pattered up the warm 
granite stairs in his socks along the corridors leading 
the way to what was apparently the roof of the sky ! 
Up, up we climbed and then of a sudden we stood 
upon a marble terrace and the vision flashed before 




TKMPU-: OF .IA<;<;F.KNATII, UDAIPUH 




TRIPULIA GATE AND PALACE, UDAIPUR 



Face p. 37 



UDAIPUR 37 

me which enchants one to-day as it enchanted the 
Oriental Princes of long ago. 

Below us, about us, above us, rose groups of airy 
pavilions and small domes upheld by slender pillars ; 
behind the open-work marble balustrades which sur- 
rounded hanging gardens green boughs drooped and 
water tinkled. 

After long days of unbroken heat and blinding 
glare, what could be dreamed of more perfect than to 
rest in marble courts and pillared halls suspended 
between earth and sky, the walls of which are pierced 
with delicate tracery open to the faintest breath of 
evening ? Water rises in fountains and runs along 
shining channels, orange and mango trees and, that 
most beautiful of all trees, the gold mohur, gleam 
with emerald and black reflections against the white 
and polished stone, while the overwhelming wave of 
golden mist melts into night. 

I espied some iron rings fixed in the roof above a 
wide marble basin in one of these * palaces of the 
winds/ I inquired their purpose and my guide told 
me that the Prince sometimes had his couch suspended 
over the shining stones, which were then deep in 
murmuring water, and he slept there through the 
summer nights. 

It suddenly dawned upon me that this wonderland 
was alive 1 It was not a museum or a monument, and 
on being shown into the Peacock Court where the 
high walls are inlaid with coloured glass, slightly 
convex and beautifully fitted to form a mosaic design 
depicting peacocks amid groups of flowers, and when 
I perceived a delicately shaped shallow bow-window 



38 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

where, I was told, the Maharajah actually sat on state 
occasions, and looked down on his courtiers assembled 
below to do him homage I felt the East and its 
Romance still lived. 

Imagine my delight when two days later I was 
received in audience by the Heir-Apparent, the 
Maharaj Kumar, in a little pillared room lighted by a 
similar bow-window the open trellis-work of which 
nearly reached the floor, and to which we gained 
access from this very Peacock Court. 

Our way lay first through a room all painted and 
gilt, then to another through doors sculptured in high 
relief with female figures in Indian draperies ; we were 
then ushered through a black and gold lacquered door, 
up some square granite steps, and over a high marble 
threshold into the princely presence. 

The reigning Princes of Udaipur are very proud of 
their ancient lineage, and claim descent from the Sun 
itself. 

His Highness sat in a modern chair of twisted black 
wood, a Viennese anomaly in this exquisite chamber ; 
I was invited to sit opposite him and we had a slow, 
quiet interchange of compliments, an audience much 
like many another in the East. 

After my visit to this Old Palace, the greater part 
of which was built in the seventeenth century, I 
lingered in the spacious courtyard, where some lovely 
Indian children were playing (but never begging) 
and where a huge grey elephant was chained by the 
foot beside wandering buffaloes and silver-grey cows. 
High in air, myriads of pigeons wheeled and flut- 
tered, and through a screen of rose-coloured arches I 



UDAIPUR 39 

looked down upon the green and gold of the land far 
below. 

I was also taken over the European Palace. An 
immense pile of buildings with huge, high-ceilinged 
rooms, their walls covered with very mediocre oil- 
paintings, portraits of various Princes, and the floors 
piled with thick modern carpets ; the furniture con- 
sisted of immensely heavy chairs and sofas and more 
glass than I have seen before, or had imagined 
possible 1 There were mirrors and tables and chairs 
of glass, punkah-poles and frames, and ornaments of 
the same glittering stuff, and actually an immense glass 
bed. Thousands of pounds worth of cut and plate 
glass on every side, in every room ! No taste, as we 
understand it, or as they themselves once understood 
it which is : beauty selected and restrained. It was 
simply luxury run wild, a debauch of upholstery and 
varnish from the Crystal Palace. 

I hurried through this disappointing array of deadli- 
ness and we eventually found our way into a lovely 
garden of orange trees, bougainvillea and cypress, 
where little chipmunks chattered their surprise at our 
invasion. (I tried not to notice some cast-iron figures, 
debased classical, in the style of the Second Empire, 
holding lamps among the flowers.) At the farther 
end of this garden stood another palace where I was 
rewarded by the unusual effect of an immense semi- 
circular courtyard, dazzlingly white, surrounded by 
glittering walls, in the midst of which two mango trees 
spread dark green leaves where peacocks and guinea- 
fowl picked their disdainful way across the marble 
pavement. 



40 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

The graceful outline of the Indian pavilions sur- 
rounding us cut sharply against the sky and within 
them the various rooms were hardly more than loggias 
framing views of the lake, and almost hanging over 
the lapis blue waters far below. The doors of these 
apartments were inlaid with flowers of ivory, and upon 
the wall-panels hung Indian miniatures of former 
Maharajah-Maharanas in court-dress : full-pleated 
skirt, high boots with pointed shoes, short jacket, 
jaunty toque-like turban and formidable sword. 

The spell of all this Oriental pomp and strange 
beauty remained upon me as we drove home through 
a shadowy park full of wonderful trees I had 
glimpses of tigers in cages, of a huge elephant padding 
along in the dust, of green parrots fluttering among 
high branches, and then for a horrid moment I was 
brought back to earth ! We passed a tennis-court 
where a European and some native gentlemen in 
flannels were just finishing a game. But only for a 
moment for I was once more within the city and the 
magic held me again. 

I believe that there is not a single ugly building in 
Udaipur. The unerring decorative taste of the 
Oriental, which demands a contrast between plain 
surface and decorated surface, between white smooth- 
ness and black shadow, is everywhere apparent. 

Every smallest house and with the exception of 
the royal palaces, no buildings in Udaipur are more 
than two stories high has a projecting and covered 
balcony, or windows with tiny openings within which 
one sees framed a dark bronze face with a rose or 
amber-coloured turban. 



UDAIPUR 41 

In the town the style of architecture is entirely 
Hindu ; only the palaces show Moghul influence. 
These are purely Persian, indeed almost Western in 
style and proportion ; some of the rooms are almost 
identical with retreats in the old Sarai at Stamboul. 

Udaipur is guarded by rose-tinted walls, surmounted 
at the top by broad leaf-shaped crenellations, within 
which are slits for rifle-firing. The city gates are very 
imposing ; they are all double gates built at right 
angles as in Fez, designed to withstand the inrush of 
an attack, and in narrow alcoves cut into the masonry 
of their huge piers the guards have their mattress or 
bedding, their brass water-bottle and gay coverings. 

After luncheon at the guest-house my mentor, Shab 
Karan, drove me down to the edge of the lake, where, 
from a pretty pavilion, we walked down some steps 
and, embarking in a little boat, were rowed noiselessly 
away. Time was apparently no object, and far beyond 
us, against the shadows of blue hills, upon the golden 
glitter of the ripples, floated the Water-Palaces of 
Udaipur, girt with living green, o'ertopped by little 
bubble-domes and single towering palm trees im- 
mobile in the shimmering glare. 

We passed below the city walls, which here dip 
their foundations into the lake, and glided under a 
high bridge with pointed arches lifting almost to a 
peak in the middle, curiously decorative. The Moon 
Gate (Chand Pol) opened on to this bridge, which 
leads to a suburb dark with trees shading white 
temples, embowered among the leaves. The usual 
temples of the enchanting Hindu-Aryan style with 
curvilinear steeple, truncated, not spired ; vertical 



4* LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

bands of masonry, horizontal bands of carving ; steps 
leading to the water and the sacred pipal or banyan tree 
spreading its benediction above them. The pipal tree 
murmurs continuously like running water and its 
leaves look wet in the rays of the hottest sun. 

Beyond the Moon Gate was a lovely tri-portal gate 
leading to the water's edge. Here graceful Hindu 
women stood swathed in their dark-red garments, 
gazing across the lake, and farther away on the 
terraced embankment, between the city wall on the one 
hand and the steep water-steps on the other, some, 
half-stripped, knelt and washed their clothes in the 
lake, beating them with wooden bats, or wringing 
them out and spreading their brilliant crimson along 
the stones. 

Further, upon the shore rose lofty edifices : the 
guest-house for Hindu princes, all white lattices and 
balconies ; the Juggernath temple behind, lifting 
eccentric carved spires ; finally the towering heights 
of the Maharana's palaces dazzlingly white against 
the opal sky. They are without window or balcony 
save the smallest openings towards the lake, and the 
princesses' quarters, the Zenana, were fortress-like in 
their blank, soaring grandeur. Here and there, 
silhouetted against the blinding cliff of palaces, stood 
emerald-green pipal trees or palms, and the shores 
were lined with kiosk and temple, terrace and step, 
dipping into the shining waters. 

It was an incredibly rare and sumptuous vision. But 
we turned from it and rowed across the lake towards 
the jagged hills to the south-west and the fabled 
turrets of the Water-Palaces which, gleaming above 



UDAIPUR 43 

the molten surface, seemed as unreal and unsubstantial 
as a mirage in a dream. 

But no ! We neared them, we approached, and 
breathless with delight I stepped out and found myself 
standing before a graceful marble loggia, where in the 
silence I heard the ripples breaking at its base. A 
thicket of golden marble colonnettes, all in the curious 
* wood-turner shapes ' so prevalent in India, supported 
the graceful roof with its broad eaves ; and between 
them hung iron rings hinting where heavy stuffs were 
stretched to hide those sheltering in the shade from 
the vulgar gaze. Beyond this grove of pillars was a 
lofty wall pierced by a gate, and within, courtyard 
after courtyard followed one beyond the other, each 
with a marble kiosk or balcony overhanging the water 
and looking towards the white-domed turrets of the 
palaces of Udaipur ; most of them embracing a formal 
garden pleasaunce behind the latticed margins of the 
lake. 

These gardens are built with curious plaster com- 
partments dug into the ground huge tanks filled 
with earth or water. The former are planted with low 
trees, laden with orange, citron and almond, or with 
palms and gaudy flowers, the others, once filled to the 
brim with water, are now almost dry. 

One of these water-gardens was entirely enclosed by 
a high stone wall, upon which the most unusual 
mosaic designs had been applied in tiny convex mirror- 
glass. Although this glass was very old, dating from 
1700 at latest, its radiance flashed undimmed upon the 
white surface it adorned. The design continued all 
around the enclosing wall in glittering sequence, and 



44 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

there you saw flowers in baskets curving gaily across 
the plaster panels ; graceful Persian cypresses, each 
crest bending before a secret breeze ; and figures in 
stiff, full dresses, their hair smoothly parted, each 
holding a fan or a tulip in their hand, stood watching 
one another in the silver silence. I have rarely seen 
decoration so pure, so chaste, so enchanting. 

Below the mosaics a wide tank was being filled with 
water where the Zenana princesses could bathe and be 
refreshed in seclusion. 

Immense trees overshadowed these mysterious 
gardens, trailing their branches over the marble 
trellises into the lake below. 

On the south side of the island stood the Water- 
Palace itself tall and white in the hot sun. One wing 
seemed the reflection of a classic temple, pure in line 
and unadorned, another was square and plain, an 
unpretentious building shining in the sunlight. 

I was about to embark and proceed to the farther 
island when my conductor, who had vanished for a 
moment, came to inform me that H.H. the Maharaj- 
Kumar, the Heir to the Gaddi (or throne), was at that 
moment on the island and wished to see me. Alas ! 
I was not dressed for such an occasion. I was wearing 
an old white knitted coat and skirt, and an unbecoming 
hat, but I could not make that an excuse and followed 
the much impressed A.D.C. through various courts, 
up narrow stone stairs and along very straight corridors 
until at last we came to a room in the Palace itself. 

Although the shutters of this apartment were closed 
to attenuate the glare reflected from the lake, it was 
nevertheless full of light. Upon the walls hung large 



UDAIPUR 45 

mirrors in glass frames, painted flowers in bright 
colours were fixing across the panels ; and from the 
high ceiling were suspended glass chandeliers carrying 
sapphire-blue globes ; the effect was one of gay 
brilliance. Several tall bearded attendants in native 
dress and wearing small turbans were grouped around 
a slight but dignified young man who seemed unable 
to stand without their support. A frail figure with a 
thin careworn face, and large wistful eyes in immense 
orbits, he had a prominent chin and a quick, intelligent 
glance. He was dressed in a Norfolk jacket and tight 
linen trousers ; a very small turban like a woman's 
toque was draped about his head. 

This was the Heir to the Maharana of Udaipur, the 
great hunter, descendant of the Sun, who was at this 
very moment away on a shooting expedition in spite 
of his seventy-three years, leaving his delicate son in 
the capital to look after his State and people. 

The Prince was very courteous and would not sit 
until I was seated in a Viennese armchair of twisted- 
wood placed beside his no other furniture but two 
consoles adorned the room. He was slightly em- 
barrassed, and I had to do my best to keep up the 
conversation, but when he spoke his remarks were 
clear and sensible, and delivered in excellent English. 

I told him of my admiration of his country and 
capital, and how greatly I admired his father's palaces. 
I said that I had never ridden an elephant, whereupon 
he suggested my riding one of his, to which I demurred 
in alarm ! I said that I thought it unwise to grant 
self-government to uneducated masses led by agitators, 
lawyers and students, but that the Princes of India 



46 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

might with success form a Council and govern this 
vast continent themselves. He looked at me gravely 
and said : " If the English go we all go I " I had 
not expected such a shrewd reply. I also tentatively 
urged upon him the importance of repairing and pre- 
serving his architectural and artistic treasures, which 
were irreplaceable ; but alas, he seemed to respond but 
faintly to my assertion that electric light and telephones 
could wait whereas his marble kiosks and mirror 
mosaics would crumble and be lost for ever 1 

I could see that he was scrutinizing my toilette with 
some interest, and longed to have been wearing 
something pretty ; a plain coat and skirt, even though 
white and soft (and coming from Molyneux), must look 
strangely awkward to an Oriental Prince ! 

After about twenty minutes or more of my chatter 
and smiles, punctuated by his serious and shyresponses, 
he signified that he would retire, and called for his 
towering attendants who hurried in and supported 
him while I shook hands and, as politely as I could 
without curtseying, backed my way out of the room. 

Full of sympathy for this courageous and courteous 
gentleman I returned to my waiting boat. I found 
another alongside, from which I was saluted by two 
jolly-looking brown boys in polo-caps. These two 
children, who were accompanied by their tutors, were 
cousins of the Prince, who, at present, has no sons. 
We moved swiftly away, passing below the marble 
lacework from behind which lovely soft-eyed ladies 
should have been gazing curiously at the stray Euro- 
pean, but wl^pre only the birds and flowers peeped and 
nodded from the shade. 




GATE AT-UDAII'LJH 



UDAIPUR 47 

The farther island was like an island in a dream ; it 
seemed completely deserted. 

A row of solemn elephants, carved and rigid, stood 
in the blue waves trumpeting with their stone trunks. 
Upon their backs rested the marble quays, behind 
them rose the columns of an airy loggia, and beyond 
that again was a wide square court, bordered with a 
hedge of crimson flowers. Tall, many-fingered palms 
floated high above a mighty wall, and at the farther 
end a golden-coloured kiosk with marble domes and 
balconies reminded one that Shah-Jehan of the Taj- 
Mahal was once a fugitive hidden behind those walls, 
protected by a Prince of Udaipur of those days ; an 
uncle or cousin perhaps, as his father Jehangir had 
married a princess of this proud line. 

Flowers in profusion with blossoming shrubs and 
trees were crowded on this more distant island, and 
many wild birds flitted from branch to branch ; but 
the marble quays and walls encircling the fabulous 
bouquet are beginning to fall into ruin and, as we 
rowed away and it faded from us in the golden dust 
of the evening sunlight, I felt such beauty must be 
unreal, and such a conception merely the evanescent 
vision of a land of dreams. 

The shock of the awakening came when we landed 
at twilight at the farther end of the fabulous lake and 
climbed a hill to stand upon the terrace of a graceful 
summer-house and gaze upon what appeared to be a 
wild scene of carnage ! Scores of savage boars, all 
tusks and bristles and snorts, scrambled and clattered 
on their high hoofs, fighting for handfuls of yellow 
maize flung down at them from above ! I am told 



48 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

that these boars are fed to become the bait for the tigers 
and jaguars with which the jungle hereabout abounds. 
It was a horrid sight of which I soon tired, so through 
dusky brushwood, followed by the gay shrieks of 
gold-green parrots on the wing, we motored back to 
the guest-house through the park, past the tennis- 
courts and the statue of Queen Victoria (with the 
inevitable bird perched upon her crown), whilst I still 
wondered in my heart whether it were all true or only 
the echo of an Arabian Nights' tale. 

4th December. Last night I was awakened by the 
most agonizing screams. Low and querulous at first, 
they would rise to an almost unbearable shriek and 
then cease. I concluded that a woman was being 
murdered or a helpless girl tortured, and I turned 
quite cold. But no ! It was merely the night-call of 
the wild hyena or the jackal which wander right up to 
the walls of Udaipur in search of carrion. 

My kind and indefatigable guide takes me to see the 
Juggernath temple in the town. 

It is of the general type of Hindu temple and dedi- 
cated, I think, to Vishnu, the Protecting God of 
Udaipur. A steep, very steep approach of stone stairs 
and at the top of this flight a terrace, flanked by stone 
elephants and crowned by an elaborate gateway, 
heavily decorated with carved personages and animals 
set in horizontal lines. Fortunately, structural breaks 
are here vertically set, and relieve the monotony of the 
design, unlike the Southern or Dravidian style of 
architecture, where all the lines as well as decoration 
accentuate the horizontal and give a heavy, confused 
effect. 



UDAIPUR 49 

I may here add that I found the Jain temples, where 
worship the followers of Mahavira, more pleasing than 
the Hindu. The decoration was more subdued, there 
were no sculptured figures of man or beast on those 
I saw, and the curious spires, always crowning the 
square body of the building, slightly curvilinear in 
outline and truncated at the apex, were more graceful 
and in better proportion than those of the Hindu 
temples ; besides which the accompanying portico 
carried on pillars before the entrance added a certain 
dignity to the whole. 

At Udaipur the temple stood in tljp middle of a fair- 
sized court, in each corner of which was a separate 
shrine enclosing a Hindu idol. I can call them nothing 
else. I am not often shocked ; but to see what looked 
like a Catholic shrine : the columns, the altar, the 
lights and the flowers, and then, in place of a dignified 
and saintly figure to find an obese and naked monstro- 
sity, squatting in the midst, with the gross head and 
trunk of an elephant, gave me a distinct feeling of 
revulsion ; a feeling which grew instead of diminishing 
as time went on. I tried at first to persuade myself that 
the manifestation of the Trimurti (Brahma, Siva and 
Vishnu), more especially of Siva, in the person of his 
son Ganesh (always represented as a figure half-man, 
half-elephant), was merely symbolical, the power and 
beneficence of the elephant standing for wisdom and 
strength in the popular mind ; but, as I saw more of 
these figures and observed them smeared with red paint 
and covered with flowers, it appeared to me that the fig- 
ure itself was the object of worship and appeal, and the 
higher interpretation of the Hindu cult seemed to fade. 



50 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Opposite the door of the temple proper (a square-cut 
door no arches are ever used in these temples) rose 
a covered platform, also reached by further steep steps. 
Upon this stood a singularly shaped beast in slightly 
Byzantine style made all of glittering brass : a 
* Garuda/ half-eagle, half-human gazing into the 
mystery of the temple before him. This monster is 
one of the ' vehicles * of Vishnu. As we entered the 
court an old woman, wizened and smiling under her 
ragged draperies, offered us wreaths of marigold. My 
courteous guide accepted one and hung it upon the 
steps in front of the ' Garuda ' ; I had bought some 
blossoms, and on suddenly realizing their uses, put 
them into my escort's hands, begging him to place 
them before the shrines. He flung them at the various 
images, ignoring Kali, the dread spouse of Siva, whose 
altar stood in one corner, the grille closed in front of 
her grimacing, almost Chinese mask of a face they 
evidently did not even attempt to propitiate her here. 

Here ? What would my Puritan and Quaker an- 
cestors think of a descendant of theirs offering flowers 
to heathen idols ? 

The temple itself remained to me inviolate no foot 
of an unbeliever may cross its threshold. 

In contrast with this fortress of superstition and 
ignorance was the garden to which we afterwards 
drove. Following the lake we passed beyond the park 
of the British Residency (where I left my card, the 
Resident was unfortunately away, a regret to me, for 
I had heard that he was charming). At last, behind 
immensely high walls, tall trees lifted green summits, 
leaning over as though to beckon one within. Through 



UDAIPUR 51 

a low, narrow door we followed their summons and 
found ourselves in a thick grove shadowing some 
white buildings and further high walls. 

On passing through another entrance, a charming 
open court appeared before my enchanted vision, 
almost entirely filled by a huge basin of glittering water 
starred by four beautiful little cbbatries in black wood 
most delicately carved rising above the ripples. 
(Chhatries are airy domes supported on slender pillars, 
the word signifying parasol.) Upon these domes, 
silver birds stretched metal wings and pointed shining 
beaks. All about were carefully tended flowering 
plants in pots, and opposite us a gay pavilion of white 
marble and chunam (white plaster polished to look like 
marble) arched its openings to cool depths. 

Suddenly, all about the margin of the marble tank 
almost on a level with the marble pavement upon 
which we stood, a fine rain of tiny jets rose into the hot 
air and fell plashing softly into the water, which 
quivered into smiles at the delicious surprise 1 Then 
all awoke as from a magic spell. The waters whis- 
pered, the silver birds twirled around, spouting silver 
streams from their silver beaks, the flowers nodded 
in the shower of silvery drops and the mango trees 
rustled with the shiver of cool streams. 

With what magic those Princes of old contrived to 
while away the long summer hours of their languid 
Sultanas ! For these gardens are called the Zenana 
Gardens and were planned for the delectation of the 
wives of a now departed Maharana. 

Surrounding the Pavilion are more gardens with 
more fountains ; in one of them is an immense tank 



52 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

filled to the brim with rose-ted lotus-flowers lifting 
proud petals above their bold, round leaves, over 
which stand ivory-coloured elephants on guard. But 
the effect was sadly marred by a grim cast-iron fountain 
towering in the midst, an erection of a series of basins, 
like immense platters, each one smaller than the one 
below and supported on the backs of a cluster of 
painted storks, each spurting water from an iron beak ! 

Is not perfect beauty, beauty inviolate ? No object 
of perfect harmony in one age can be improved by the 
touch of any following age. In fact that touch is 
death to it at its contact beauty withers and dies. 

And yet, you may cite as evidence to the contrary 
the charm of a Renaissance porch ushering you into 
Gothic aisles, the grace of an airy cupola crowning 
a Giralda above a Moorish base. 

Yes. It may be beautiful, it surely has charm. 
But can it compare with the purity of the Acropolis, 
the perfection of the Taj -Mahal, the majesty of Saint- 
Sophia unravished by the years ? 

A glimpse of the Museum interested me, principally 
on account of the hundreds of turbans therein exposed, 
each and every one folded and twisted differently, 
according to the rank, caste or tribe of the person for 
whom they were destined. Apparently the ceremonial 
turban in this capital is a very small, rather rakish 
toque, wrapped in the most chic French manner. You 
may wear as many as forty yards of delicately hand- 
made, hand-dyed muslin, which, tenuous even as it is, 
swells into quite a large and imposing head-covering 
with a soft streamer left loose behind ; this is for 
travel, or sport, or to don outside the precincts of the 



UDAIPUR 53 

princely palaces. But, within the mighty Tripolia 
Gates, behind the high walls, you must wear, if your 
rank permits it, the tiny gay toque with a gold band 
athwart its folds and suffer the curious half-ferocious, 
half-feminine air it bestows. 

Half-feminine ! And yet ! What traditions ring 
through Hindu annals. This very family of the 
Princes of Udaipur, descendants of the Sun, fleeing 
after years of savage attack by the Moghul emperors 
from their fortress of Chitor into the fastness of their 
hills and lakes at Udaipur, they were not feminine ! 
Their very women were as men. 

I must here relate a tale I both heard and read ; that 
of Padmani. 

Padmani was the wife of Bhim-Singh, uncle of Ajai- 
Singh, Maharana of Mewar. Now Padmani was so 
beautiful that the fame of her perfection spread over 
all India. She was as white as the jasmine-flower, her 
hair was as glittering as a raven's wing, her eyes were 
darker than the velvet night and her voice was like 
the murmur of the wild pigeon. Her shining body 
was without speck or blemish, she was as fleet as the 
doe and as slender as the cypress. 

The fame of her beauty reached even to the court of 
the Pathan emperor, Allah-uddin Kilji, even to the 
ears of the great Emperor himself. He who had 
consolidated the rule of the northern conquerors, who, 
followed by thousands of powerful princes, had 
subdued countless provinces, the rulers of which 
crowded to his courts at Delhi the old Delhi, far 
southward from the walls of Shah-Jehan who came 
long afterwards. 



54 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

He wrote to the Maharana of Mewar with many 
courteous words begging to see this wonderful 
princess. He was answered in as many courteous 
words that such a boon could not be granted. 

Again an envoy again a refusal. At last a prayer : 
Might the great Emperor look upon the reflection of 
Padmani in a mirror ? And with the prayer, a threat, 
so that the Rajput prince, proud as he was, thought it 
prudent to comply with the request. 

Allah-uddin came. He was met on the plains below 
the tremendous bastion of Chitor, the overwhelming 
hill rising sheer on all sides from the tablelands 
beneath, guarded by gate upon gate, protected by 
massive walls, heralded by soaring towels from which 
one could gaze so far that the blue horizons melted 
into the unknown. 

So it stands to-day as it stood eight hundred years 
ago in the days when Padmani's eyes filled with tears 
and her white hands shook as she drew aside the silver 
tissue of her veil and gazed into the mirror wherein the 
Sultan also looked and then hungered with a burning 
hunger. He saw the gold and silver veils, the rubies 
and emeralds, the raven hair, the jasmine wreaths, but 
most wonderful of all the white throat and arms, 
the night-dark eyes and the rose-red lips of Padmani. 
He looked and he desired and swore by all he held 
sacred that Padmani should be his. 

He galloped back to Delhi, he issued a challenge : 
Padmani, the wife of Bhim-Singh, uncle of the Ruler 
of Mewar, must be his, or he would ravage the fertile 
lands of Mewar and would claim her at the scimitar* s 
point. 



UDAIPUR 55 

A ringing answer was returned. 

So the armies assembled with horse and foot, camel 
and elephant, and the fertile lands of Mewar lay 
ravaged at the foot of the high fortress of Chitor, 

But the Rajputs would not yield. Padmani herself 
urged them to ever sterner resistance, and, even when 
the smoke of burning harvests drifted through her 
marble lattices, she stirred her defenders with fresh 
words of courage. And the Invader, repulsed, turned 
and departed from Chitor. 

But not for long. The vision of Padmani haunted 
him : the emeralds and the rubies, the cunningly 
woven silver and golden stuffs, the jasmine on the 
raven hair and the eyes and breast and mouth of 
Padmani. And, distracted, he raised another army 
and again marched into stricken Mewar. 

Again the descendants of the Sun-God, the Princes 
of Rajput, withstood him bravely, fighting in their steel 
helmets and coats of mail with their swords in hand, 
the spears and arrows on high ; but the might of 
Allah-uddin, < Faith in God ', was greater than that of 
Ajai and Bhim-Singh, and the defenders, stricken with 
despair, consulted behind the towers of Chitor. 

A parley is proposed an envoy from Allah-uddin I 
He is accepted, welcomed and treated with courtesy. 
He says his lord is tired of battle, respects his enemy 
and wishes to come to terms ; will not the Maharana 
send an ambassador to him ? He asks for the uncle 
of Ajai, that is Bhim-Singh 1 Safe-conduct is pro- 
mised. 

Reluctantly the besieged accept the proposal and, 
in spite of Padmani's warnings, her husband goes 



j6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

forth and with noise of drums and blare of trumpets 
is received into the huge tent of the Sultan himself. 

They watch from the walls of Chitor ; they peer 
from the towers and gates ; eyes strain from the airy 
lattices high above the misty plains. 

As yet no one comes out from the Imperial tent, no 
procession returns with words of peace and terms of 
compact, the sun burns low and all the air and the 
upper fields of the sky are powdered with gold, the 
neem-trees, drooping, glow like emeralds, the starlings 
chatter and fly towards the tamarinds where the 
monkeys swing curiously over the temple gate. 

Still no one comes. 

A murmur : treachery ! 

A shout : revenge ! 

And they realize that the perfidious Sultan of Delhi 
has kept Bhim-Singh a prisoner, and in his passion for 
Padmani has broken his pledged word. 

The Rajput prince advises cunningly : we must 
free our uncle by stratagem as we cannot do so by 
force. And once more they parley, and promises are 
made and broken. At last a final proposal is sub- 
mitted to the enemy : on certain conditions would 
the Princess Padmani be allowed to go to visit her 
husband ? 

" At last ! " exults the Sultan, and Padmani is 
called to join Bhim-Singh in the Sultan's camp. 

He looks at the long procession winding down the 
mountain side : the small group of unarmed soldiers, 
the palanquins of Padmani and her ladies, and the 
retinue of servants bearing her goods and her treasure. 
She comes in state, the most beautiful woman in India, 



UDAIPUR 57 

she brings her jewels, her robes, her stuffs, perhaps 
her mirror 1 

The group approaches, is brought into the camp, 
when on a clap, the palanquin curtains are tossed aside, 
the slaves throw off their draperies, and over a 
hundred tall Rajputs, sabre in hand, led by the intrepid 
Padmani herself, rush in, rescue Bhim-Singh and bear 
him off in triumph to Chitor. 

If only my story could end here 1 Alas, maddened 
by his frustrated desires, after a few months AUah-uddin 
once more comes down from the north, this time 
enveloped in such a cloud of horsemen, of elephants 
and of archers that the plain about Chitor rages like 
an angry sea. 

In their desperation the Rajputs dethrone Ajai-Singh 
and place another princeling in the seat of power ; he 
is again defeated and another of the Sun's descendants 
takes his place until eleven royal princes are sacrificed 
but all in vain. 

AUah-uddin is clamouring at the gates of Chitor- 
gargh. The portals are giving way. The Pathans are 
pouring in. Padmani alone is calm, and with her head 
held high, her divine features unveiled that all may 
gaze and mourn she causes the nethermost vaults 
of her palace to be filled with dry grasses, camel-thorn, 
and great beams of wood. Then, followed by all her 
women, she enters therein, sets fire to the crackling 
brush, and locked with a hundred heavy bolts and bars 
perishes nobly, undaunted to the last, faithful to the 
end, winning her victory over the Sultan of Hindustan, 
the servant of God, Allah-uddin of Delhi. 



58 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Later, as I passed the great mountain of Chitor, still 
bound by its astounding walls, six miles and more in 
circumference, as I saw its towers and gates and 
crumbling palaces, I thrilled at the memory of Padmani 
and her story, while the whole sky was red with the 
clouds of an Indian sunset as the plains long ago were 
red with the pennants of the savage Sultan and his 
victorious hordes, defeated in the end by a woman's 
heart. 

5 tb December. His Highness the Maharaj Kumar 
has sent for me. He received me in the Old Palace at 
ten o'clock in the morning. 

(I wonder what he thought of my costume in the 
pale mauve crepe-de-chine with floating folds from 
the shoulders and hips, a drooping straw hat also 
mauve, weighted down at the back and lined beneath 
the brim with orchid-pink velvet ? Lovely as it really 
was, he took far less interest in it than in my horrid 
little knitted coat and skirt 1) 

He received me in a quaint little room vividly re- 
calling the Padishah's rooms in the Old Serail at 
Stamboul. It was decorated with tiny arches and 
colonnettes all painted in yellow, no furniture, only 
narrow painted walls bright with formal designs, and 
low windows looking out on to the Peacock Court. 
Alas, two ugly pieces of European utility offered us 
their bony seats and arms, and as I sat upon them I 
reflected how perfect it would have been had he waved 
me instead to a low divan in the recess near the window 
from whence one's glance, like the flight of a swallow, 
swept and soared above wood, hill and lake. 

But he was charming and much less shy. He told 



UDAIPUR 59 

me he had all the work of State to do and that the files 
of business papers neglected before him piled up 
mountain high. 

He wore an incredible tweed jacket, black trousers, 
and a jaunty royal turban in crimson and gold. 
Luckily, as it was cool in that lofty eyrie, he sent for 
something to keep him warm, and, much to my joy, 
the bearded attendant brought him a bright pink 
cashmere shawl with a brilliant border and fringes with 
which he wrapped himself. 

He filled me with sympathy ; ill and lonely as he is, 
yet, in spite of his father's suspicions and estrangement, 
carrying on courageously and endeavouring to salvage 
his State from the disorder into which the gay careless- 
ness of his magnificent parent has let it drift. 

" If your affairs are not straightened out," had 
uttered the ' Power-that-Is,' " we shall take your 
authority from you." 

" Sooner abdicate," declared the old Maharana, 
" than have my affairs looked into and examined by 
strangers 1 " 

And so the son, wiser than his father, had undertaken 
the tremendous task. 

" I must now go to my work," said the young man, 
looking at me calmly and kindly. 

I felt like exclaiming : " Oh, no I Pray do not. 
Rest. Distract your weary mind I Come away into 
your gardens beside the laughing fountains and forget 
the cares and worries of your State 1 " 

But he rose, helped by his tall attendants ; so, 
bowing with all the politeness and sympathy one can 
put into a stiff inclination of the head, I went away 



60 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

down the steep stairs, through the Peacock Court 
where the glass mosaics glittered in the sunlight, down 
more stairs, then by the shoeless guards and the 
shrines of hideous gods, into the great entrance-court 
far below. 

It seems that the Maharaj Kumar has a private 
passage and entrance from the Palace to a lovely kiosk 
near the water's edge. I rowed past it on the evening 
preceding my departure, and the sinking sun gleamed 
upon the open verandahs and decorated loggias, 
painting the mosaics anew and transforming it into a 
fairy palace. Near by is the Prince's private temple 
where the hereditary priests employed by the royal 
family say the accustomed prayers and offer the usual 
sacrifices. 

In some temples a goat is still immolated every 
morning to Durga the terrible. I even saw the blood 
on the pavement and wondered if living blood were 
still offered up at the shrines of the Maharaj's temple 
at Udaipur. 

Would this be strange ? After fabulous hours in 
this land of fable, where Western colour, sound and 
movement are almost unknown, one is tempted to 
measure life by other standards and yet find it full of 
beauty and significance. 

Must I tear myself away from this enchanted spot ? 
Once more my guide lifts a veil and, on my way to the 
train which is to take me to Jaipur, we stop for a 
moment to see the burial-place of the Princes of 
Udaipur. 

A high wall without the city gates, with crowded 
domes and trees rising above it and beyond. A narrow 



UDAIPUR 6l 

door and then a truly impressive scene. For, one close 
to the other, shrined and shaded by deepest green, 
rise the splendid monuments erected to the memory 
of the departed Maharanas and their kin. They are 
only cenotaphs, no more than a handful of human dust 
sometimes is left within a small receptacle beneath the 
airy cupolas ; the bones and ashes of all high-caste 
Hindu princes are taken to the Ganges and tossed into 
its holy waves. 

The monuments are all of much the same style and 
design : lofty, square terraces, reached by high steps, 
and upon them, lifted into the air by arch or colonnade 
in stone or marble, the most lovely domes I saw in 
India, finely proportioned, capped by the drooping 
lotus petal and, seemingly, as light as the air on which 
they appear to float. 

The carving on several of these chhatries is exquisite. 
One especially held me ; more airy, more delicate than 
all the others, it was dedicated to the memory of a 
beloved daughter, and the decoration is touchingly 
appropriate : it consisted of flowers and birds and 
graceful interlacings, the marble shone like ivory in 
the declining sunlight, and beyond, more domes and 
pillars lifted against the sky. 

An ancient Hindu stone-cutter crouching not fat 
away, chipped at a marble shaft, and a great peace 
reigned. 

Why is it that both Hindu and Moslem burial- 
grounds are so touched with quiet and peace and even 
with a sort of subdued gaiety ? Where are the grue- 
some horrors of a Catholic cemetery, where are the 
skulls and the flames and the anguished figures 



62 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

hanging in desolation upon an instrument of torture ? 
Do these beliefs teach one a truer attitude towards 
Death ? The return to the Almighty and Everlasting ? 
Almighty to pardon His own poor creations, ever- 
lasting in His Peace. 

In India the railway carriages are of three classes : 
the first and the second class which usually only white 
travellers use, and the third, where the natives are 
accommodated in their thousands nowhere have I 
seen such continuous travel ; hundreds of Hindus 
pour in and out of every train whole families move 
from one place to another, visiting, I believe, friends 
or relations. They carry with them their bedding 
and eating utensils they wash and drink in the 
ample water-supply provided at every station I saw 
an elderly Hindu standing on one leg like a stork, 
deliberately washing the other leg and never losing 
his balance. They camp in small families on the plat- 
forms, assembling for hours before the trains start. 
The station officials are often Eurasians, sometimes 
with an English station-master the porters are Indian 
and astonishingly lacking in muscular power, no doubt 
because of their universal vegetarian diet. 

The better carriages are reserved for white women 
travelling alone, and no Indian would think of in- 
truding, excepting in very special circumstances. Such 
an exception occurred on my leaving Udaipur, where 
the small train only had one better-class carriage, and, 
when an Indian student politely inquired whether I 
objected to his joining my maid and myself, I invited 
him to enter. He was a nice-looking young man of 



UDAIPUR 63 

about twenty-one or two neatly dressed in a curate- 
like long coat and a white turban he had the long, 
flexible fingers of the Indian, the tips of which seem 
almost to turn upwards ; they give they do not 
grasp. 

He soon wearied of keeping his feet on the floor 
and curled his toes under him in what was, to him, an 
attitude of greater comfort. 

He was very eager to talk and spoke English quite 
well, having been educated, as far as I could judge, in 
an American mission-school. (Why do we permit 
such schools in India with their disingenuous attitude ? 
Owing life and protection to the British, they teach a 
very prejudiced history of England.) He told me he 
was very fond of English literature and knew many 
writers, among whom he mentioned Ella Wheeler 
Wilcox I I inquired about his home ; he replied that 
he came from Karachi. " Is it a fine town ? " I asked. 
He replied, " A very fine town." I then questioned 
him as to its size he replied that Karachi had a 
population of 150,000,000. I answered that that was 
very odd> as the whole of the Indias had but a popula- 
tion of three hundred and odd million he politely 
agreed 1 1 

Is it not striking how little sense of proportion, 
let alone accuracy, his years of Western training had 
brought him ? I know that mathematical conceptions 
are the highest exercise of the human mind and that 
women are incomparably inferior to men in their 
mastery of them ; but it was an instance of the type 
of brain to be found among Orientals. 



JAIPUR 

6th December. At ten a.m. I arrive at Jaipur, the 
:apital of another Rajput State, where the Resident, 
Colonel Patterson, and Mrs. Patterson welcomed me 
with gruff kindness. I was shown into a delightful 
suite of rooms, lofty and airy, amply ventilated by 
square windows placed high in the wall just under 
the ceiling, as well as by those below (an eighteenth- 
century architectural device, difficult to be improved 
upon) ; an immense brass bedstead was placed, as 
usual, in the middle of the room ; a sitting-room and 
a bathroom were also at my disposal and I was 
served with the best cup of coffee and crisp, light 
toast imaginable. (I found the pretty Miss Rosamund 
Grosvenor there, whom I had met at Bombay.) 

Refreshed and inquisitive, led by the lure of a low 
open window, of a verandah and of steps leading into 
a garden, I went out into the soft air and wandered 
among beds of canna and hibiscus, groves of tamarind 
and neem. The flash of the blue jays' wings seemed to 
light blue flames across the lawns, and at some 
distance from the house I found myself suddenly 
bewitched by the most beautiful tree I have ever 
seen. 

Its silver-grey trunk lifted pale limbs against the 
sky, and quivering aloft like feathers on slender stems 
were a myriad small pointed leaves as delicate as a 

6j 



66 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

fringe of powdered emeralds. Here and there rose 
the fuse of a golden aigrette, the flower of this tree, 
and, as it waved tremulously in the morning light, its 
very shadow upon the ground was beauty ; my eyes 
dimmed with tears at the grace of its perfection ; I 
could scarcely see. 

Then a gong boomed with a sound as though 
struck from gold. The spell broke I turned away 
and walked to the Residency, hardly daring to look 
back. I asked what tree it was that I had seen. It was 
the sacred tree the gold mohur which is wor- 
shipped in India. I learned later that there is indeed 
no smoke without fire ; for this tree wrapped in 
winter with a mist of silver green holds a burning 
secret ; its passion for the sun. As the star of day 
draws nearer, this tree breaks into a flaming fire of 
flowers orange and crimson in which the grey leaves 
and limbs are utterly consumed. It is therefore also 
called the Flamboyant or Flame Tree. 

I also asked about the gong, which sounded again. 
" Oh yes/' I was told, " that is our clock. An Indian 
coolie strikes the gong every half-hour that all may 
know the time. He has no watch but never makes 
a mistake and has done it for years." Perhaps even 
now he is striking that golden-throated gong, while 
the blue jays flash across the lawn and the divine gold- 
mohur tree lifts its branches to heaven. 

After luncheon Mrs. Patterson's sister, Miss Bruce, 
took me to Galta where, for the first time excepting 
for a ride in the Zoo in childhood I was to mount 
an elephant ! 

We motored through the town of Jaipur, entirely 



JAIPUR 67 

built to order in 1728 by the famous Maharajah Savai 
Jai Singh II, Its broad straight streets running in 
parallel lines give it a very artificial appearance ; the 
uniformly low, flimsily built houses, covered in stucco 
and painted in brilliant colours, remind one of a scene 
on the stage, but produce a general effect unusually 
bright and gay. 

We eventually reached the foot of a high cliff where 
I observed with astonishment a huge elephant awaiting 
us. On his back was a small gallery covered by a 
mattress-like cushion with small planks depending on 
either side, presumably on which to place one's feet, 
in fact, a sort of Irish car. The mahout (or native 
driver) sat astride the mighty neck, his legs hidden 
behind the animal's enormous ears ; in his hands 
curious iron instruments with spiked ends and a hook 
curving over near the spike. The forehead and trunk 
of this Leviathan were painted in a beautiful flowing 
design in brilliant colours, slightly faded ; he was 
altogether magnificent. A ladder appeared, ready for 
us to climb. " Can three ride him at once ? " I igno- 
rantly ventured. My conductress laughed and replied, 
" He usually carries seven 1 " 

Without more ado the benign monster quietly knelt 
down, first with his forelegs and then with his hind 
ones. Even so the ladder had to be placed against his 
mighty side and we climbed four or five rungs to perch 
ourselves upon the saddle (or is it howdah ? I did not 
dare ask 1). I was then adjured to hold on, and with 
extreme deliberation the elephant arose (tipping us 
up and forward, and then up and level) and, giddy and 
bewildered, I tried to feel detached and at ease. This 



68 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

was rather difficult, as we started rapidly up a steep 
paved way straight into a dark ravine where at times 
my legs overhung the horrid abyss and where I found 
myself impelled to look firmly at the more reassuring 
land-side of our great ship, rather than towards the 
giddy air-side. 

Without mishap, however, we reached the head of 
the gorge and descended from our perilous grandeur 
to find a lovely path winding downwards over step 
and stone, the rocky walls above us almost closing in 
on either side. Water from a wide tank within the wall 
near a temple-shrine trickled along beside us, spouting 
now and then through the mouths of quaint animals 
carved in stone. Monkeys regarded us with detached 
interest from elevated perches among the rocks, and 
we passed groups of natives clad in the particularly 
bright clothing affected by the inhabitants of Jaipur, 
who scrutinized us with curiosity and amusement. 
We were rarer in Rajputana than any Maharajah in 
London. 

At the bottom of the cleft, the valley widened suffi- 
ciently to reveal a group of what appeared to be 
pleasure-houses. Buildings with gay balconies and 
balustrades, open Matries and verandahs frivolously 
painted with holiday scenes of prince and princess, man 
and maiden. I supposed them to be the summer 
retreat, in this dark and water-cool valley, of the 
Princes of Jaipur. I was mistaken. They were all 
temples ; some mysterious cult was still practised 
behind their tawdry walls and Brahmin priests offi- 
ciated amongst their colonnades. We halted at the 
lower temples where a crowd of gentle Indian cows, 



JAIPUR 69 

humped and soft-eyed, moved about, followed by the 
rather sinister-looking black buffaloes. 

Suddenly one of the Indians gave a loud weird cry ; 
it echoed among the lonely crags above us ; again he 
shouted and to my amazement the whole place became 
alive with monkeys ! 

They came singly, in groups, in scores ! Some were 
yellowish-brown and very ugly with no fur to sit on 
only a patch of scarlet skin. Others had beautiful 
silver-grey fur, long and straight and so glossy that 
they surely must comb one another every day and 
many times a day with silver and ivory combs 1 Their 
black faces peeped out from stiff silver ruffs of fur 
which surrounded their chins and ears. With their 
bright eyes and graceful, furred tails they were almost 
captivating. It was amusing to observe a tiny silvery 
baby-monkey clinging to its mother upside-down as 
she ran along on all fours ; it grasped her fur and 
passed (like Ulysses beneath the ram's belly) safe from 
harm. Monkeys, yes, and peacocks, pigeons and goats, 
they all swarmed about us, fed out of our hands with 
the corn and stuff we were provided with for the 
purpose, and nearly knocked us over when the cows 
clambered up the temple-steps where we stood and tried 
to join in the feast. It was a most curious and un- 
expected sight. 

-jth December. Another expedition into the land of 
fable : to Amber, the ancient capital, founded in the 
eleventh century, built high on the side of a valley 
beyond the line of hills north-east of Jaipur. 

As was usual with the old Moghul and Indian 
princes, water, more precious than jewels in this 



70 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

thirsty land, had been captured in the valley and 
dammed to form a lake. Alas ! now it is almost, 
if not entirely, dry ; and the domes and turrets of 
Amber no longer shine reflected upon the polished 
flood. 

Mrs. Patterson took me in her motor on this expedi- 
tion ; we drove through Jaipur and past what I 
imagine used once to be the summer haunts of the 
capital long ago. White walls, capped at the corners 
with graceful chhatries y huge banana-leaves waving 
above them, and, in the distance, the gay though 
crumbling balconies and verandahs of white pavilions 
spoke of long-forgotten laughter and delight. 

Along the road, through a mountain-pass, the 
Kos Minars (' mile-towers ') of the great Akbar (' the 
Greatest ') are still to be seen, marking the distances 
on the Sultan's highway which ran all the way from 
Agra to Amber. Curious milestones, like huge 
cartridges twenty feet high, standing beside the new 
macadam (of British production), which stretches its 
length under the never-ending avenues of neem or 
tamarind trees. 

At last on our left appeared the towering crags 
crowned with fortress-walls and turrets belonging to 
ancient Amber. 

Below these rose the Palace ; marble pavilions aloft 
upon red bastions, like glittering flower-petals from 
the darkest clay sheer beneath, at giddy depths, lay 
the shallow flats where once the waters had repeated 
the beauty above ; and in the midst of the dry lake-bed, 
an island where water-gardens had bloomed and shone. 
Arabs, Persians and Hindus all love water and its 




PALACE OF THE WINDS, JAIPUR 



Face p. 70 







w 

H 
O 



w 

K 




JAIPUR 71 

sound and light tuns through their palaces and gleams 
under their trees. 

Again monster elephants stood waiting for us and 
up we climbed. I was not so alarmed on this occasion, 
for the steep, paved road which we slowly ascended 
was protected on the valley side by a high stone 
parapet, and we wound our way upwards and under 
the lofty arches of the gates with safe dignity. 

At the top we dismounted in a vast courtyard. 
Ascending a broad flight of steps, we found 
another court in which a remarkable Divan-i-Am 
(General Reception loggia) lifted quaint carved pillars 
to support high rounded arches cusped, if I remember 
rightly, in the Arab style. 

It is said that the magnificence of this Divan so 
struck the fancy of the Great Moghul Jehangir that 
the Mirsa Raja (the nephew of Man Singh who com- 
menced the building of the castle in 1600), in alarm lest 
the lovely work be destroyed out of jealousy, caused 
the marble columns and arches to be covered with 
modest stucco. (Now removed.) 

The palace is an interesting specimen of Rajput art, 
where one notes the marriage of Hindu originality 
and geometric fancy blended with the more delicate 
and semi-Persian style of the Moghuls. Indeed the 
Rajah's private apartments which rise above the actual 
castle closely resemble the Kiosks and Divans of Delhi 
and Agra. 

My breath was almost taken away by the beauty of 
these palace eyries. 

The singular custom, prevalent in this torrid land, 
of building audience-halls, reception-rooms and even 



72 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

private apartments without walls (these consisting 
simply of marble terraces shaded by roofs supported 
on forests of pillars), appeared to me very lovely. In 
the sleeping apartments one or two sides alone were 
shaded with lace-like marble lattices whereon curtains 
of silk could be hung to keep out an excess of sunlight. 

The simplicity of the furniture must also have been 
restful to the eye and soothing to the senses. Low 
couches covered with cushions on the chill of marble 
floors, such as one sees in Morocco even to this day, 
low tables with feet of carved ivory, low pallet-beds 
spread with embroidered mattresses which serve as 
settees as well ; immense coloured awnings stretched 
across the lofty terraces (I perceived in countless 
buildings the stone sconces into which were fixed the 
poles to support the velarium). Niches in the deli- 
cately decorated walls held the perfume bottles, the 
sherbet glasses, flower vases and water-jars. Even the 
Princess's jewels were hidden within the marble of the 
walls, the recess only accessible through tiny holes 
into which the little hand of a woman could slip, but 
which would baffle the fist of any male thief. 

And now we ascended still higher ; up stone stairs, 
along stone corridors, through narrow and sometimes 
inclined ways, until, high above the lake and the great 
court, we stood at last it seemed amid the clouds. 

We stood on the topmost terraces of the topmost 
towers of Amber ; yet scarcely realized our giddy 
eminence ; for the cloud-capped court in which we 
found ourselves was entirely surrounded by marble 
pavilions rising between the steeps of the abyss and 
encircling a lovely garden. This filled the middle 



JAIPUR 73 

of the court, hemmed by a low, carved marble balu- 
strade decorated in delicate geometrical tracery. Here 
were mango and orange and quaint-leaved mandarine 
trees ; these were watered by tiny rills of clear water 
issuing, strange to say, from beneath the lattice-like 
walls of the harem, the halls of which on the garden 
side were enclosed by high perforated marble screens, 
so that the beauties of the shaded courts were im- 
prisoned like rare birds in a lace-like cage. We entered 
the once secret and jealously guarded chambers through 
doors of sandal-wood inlaid with ivory, and saw the 
carved bed of various water-rills meandering across 
the marble floors. Here in the twilight freshness of 
long ago, the waters wandered through the lofty halls, 
twinkled at the feet of indolent Sultanas who, gazing 
at the glittering ripples, dropped white jasmine petals 
upon the escaping stream, which fled murmuring to 
the green gardens without, high in air, flowering amid 
the towers of Amber. 

The Jai Mandir must have been a marvel in olden 
days. Even now there is an enchanting contrast 
between the carved flowers on the panels of wall and 
square pillar, and the elaborate painting and * recess- 
ing ' above. (Recessing is not a happy word, but the 
best I can think of to express a favourite device of 
Moghul decoration when an arched, square or elon- 
gated surface is sunk in stone or plaster, but in so 
shallow a fashion that it resembles a sunk panel.) 

Perhaps the brilliant design on high, forming a 
deep frieze of painted vases, bowls and flowers, is too 
elaborate for perfect taste, but the effect is entirely 
gay and joyous. 



74 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

The Zenana rooms are a delight with their formal 
yet flowing decoration of fruit and flowers in small 
glass mosaics (called Sbishadar, probably Venetian in 
origin), their shining marble of arch and colonnette, 
vault and pavement. The Oriental princes of old who 
built these palaces seem to have been masters in the 
art of refining the purely sensuous. 

They apparently needed no appeal of the spirit ; but 
the delicacy of their perception of the pleasures of the 
senses reached a point never touched before or since, 
and very nearly attained spiritual beauty. These 
doves* nests in the eagles' eyrie, these roses and lilies 
flowering upon the crags and peaks, these pearls 
beyond price which are water-drops, caught and held 
to cool a bower Amber itself, their creation, an out- 
post of empire on the mountain-side of a dry and 
sterile land. 

But all this ingenuity and delicacy was of no avail 
to assure either peace or contentment, and on his airy 
terrace, upon his low marble throne the swallows 
and the wide-winged kite screaming and wheeling 
above him the Hindu prince of the days of Queen 
Elizabeth, or James, or Charles sat brooding and 
trembling, his gaze fixed beyond the broken mountains 
on the plains afar, there where all the fortresses of 
Amber would fail to stop the invaders from the north. 

We wended our long way down in the gathering 
twilight, I, for one, silent and thoughtful. While 
waiting for our conveyances we had refreshment in a 
garden on the margin of what was once the lake of 
Amber, and where once shone reflected the lights 
twinkling from palace and tower. Peacocks picked 



JAIPUR 75 

their dainty way among us, looking for a stray crumb 
or sweet ; huge banana-leaves hung their silken 
banners against the fading sky, and the evening-star 
rose above an abandoned watch-tower. 

Beyond were more abandoned towers and temples 
and, in a cleft rising amid the vivid green, the white 
dome and twin white minarets of a mosque seemed 
to float above the trees, the fabric of a dream. 

But now we also, like the princes of old, had to 
abandon the stately town, and I turned to bid farewell 
to our mighty convoy, the elephants. I hoped to see 
them lift their trunks in salutation, as my mount had 
done in proud submission in the valley of Galta but 
no, the mahouts forgot to give the signal and we turned 
and left in the fast descending dusk where a sickle 
moon hung idly in the dry air. 

It is very pleasant to recall the kindness of my host 
and hostess to a perfect stranger such as I. 



DELHI 

8/A December. I left for Delhi in the morning and 
arrived that evening (luckily without a change of 
trains) at Flag-Staff House, where Lord and Lady 
Rawlinson gave me a warm welcome. I instantly fell 
under the charm of my host, as does everyone. Tall, 
graceful, with a fine figure and a swinging stride, his 
happy ease of manner, his smiling sympathy, his 
directness and vitality place him apart from all others. 
He was a friend of the Lowther family, and he and 
Lady Rawlinson made me feel as much at home as 
though I had always known them. 

Delhi I Could it be true that I was really in Delhi ? 
In spite of the English comforts, the bright wood fire 
(for the nights are cool in this season) and the English 
talk of home, I knew myself translated to another 
world. 

Delhi I The seat of so many empires, the scene of 
so much bloodshed 1 The pearl in England's crown. 
Genghis Khan had fought here, and Timur. The 
Moghul Sultans, the Persians and the Mahrattas, and 
close to me, nearly at my feet, the ground had been 
stained red with English blood. Here Englishmen 
had fought, agonized and died. Bravely, almost hope- 
lessly, battling against native arms and treachery, 
against torrid heat and foul disease. No ' leave ' for 
them, no rest * behind the lines/ no pang of relief at 

77 



78 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

the thought of safety for wife or child ; wife and child 
shared their danger. 

Has any Englishman been to Delhi and still believes 
in abandoning the Indias ? For that Continent is not 
' India ' but many Indias. To leave them to the 
experiments of their students, their half-trained poli- 
ticians, their rival Princes, each one jealous of the 
other ? 

Did Anson and Nicholson die, did Lawrence fight 
for this ? Surely no ! 

<)th December. Miss Wade and Miss Kennard are at 
Flag-Staff House, also Major McCartney, Major Gibbs 
and Captain Dugdale. 

We go to church. The Viceregal pew in front of 
ours is empty. Lord and Lady Reading are away in 
Hyderabad and Madras on tour. 

We lunch at General and Mrs. Cooke's at New 
Delhi, or Raisina as the English call it. The natives 
call it * The New Fortress * 1 This is not a surprising 
name, as the plains surrounding Delhi are strewn with 
the forts and palaces of wrecked empires, and the 
British edifices, rising blood-red from a rolling emi- 
nence, must appear like fortresses to the native mind. 

Lady Rawlinson took me over the site of the new 
Capital, the conception of which we owe to Lord 
Hardinge of Penshurst ; it was already marked out 
with splendid avenues, radiating from various centres ; 
the secretariat was nearly completed the Viceregal 
Lodge, already half-built, presented a scene of striking 
activity ; over 10,000 workmen were employed there, 
they told us. 

The avenues were partly bordered by small white 




GATE OF TI1K FORT, DKLIII 



Face p. 78- 




PEARL MOSQUE, DELHI 



Face p. 79 



DELHI 79 

bungalows which, it is said, are not as well built as 
the eighteenth-century houses ; the walls are too thin, 
the ceilings too low (designed to carry a second storey), 
no verandahs or porticoes, and they were certainly 
lacking in picturesqueness. 

. On our way back to Delhi, which is the Delhi of 
Shah-Jehan and of his son Aurungzebe, we drove 
westward towards the misty minarets of the Jama 
Masjid and the crimson walls and towers of Old Delhi 
Fort. " You must see it now in the evening light," 
said Lady Rawlinson, so we turned and drove up 
through the great Lahore Gate, engulfed by the huge 
portals, under the towers of the Emperor Aurungsebe. 
As in all mediaeval and Oriental fortresses, the gates 
of this stronghold are double and at right-angles ; but 
here a striking and unusual feature impressed me, for 
after passing through the gates we plunged into the 
shadows of a lofty, long and vaulted arcade leading 
to the so-called Musician's Gate and Gallery, an 
imposing structure forming the entrance to the Palace 
courts. 

We descended from the motor-car (which to my 
eyes was a glaring anomaly. In my East ' Morocco 
and Turkey I had always been conveyed in a Victoria 
and pair, or a Sedan-chair, or upon a crimson-capari- 
soned mule 1). But I was none the less grateful for my 
modern car, for how otherwise should I have been able 
to see so much in so short a time ? 

I turned and had to exclaim my wonder 1 The scene 
before us seemed laid for some joyous festival. Lovely 
gardens stretched below us, palaces and turrets 
gleamed among the trees, and beyond the mighty 



80 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

terraces upon which they rose, the land dropped like 
a cliff to the bed of the Jumna, where the quiver of 
green leaves replaces what was once the ripple of 
water. 

In the foreground the majestic colonnades of the 
Divan-i-Am, or Audience Hall, glowed red as coral. 
None of the former adornment of brilliant plaster or 
multi-coloured painting remained on the rough stone 
of the pillars or upon the cusped arches, the stern 
severity of which, rising from the vast platform, 
added great dignity to the building. It is an immense 
loggia, enclosed on one side only where, suddenly 
unfolding its colour like a single flower, the Imperial 
balcony opens its marble and jewelled petals. Here, 
above the assembled multitude of officers of State and 
petitioners, the Sultan of Sultans would sit in state, 
while below him, in the great Hall, his Grand Vizier 
would take up his position on a marble stand, and 
hand up the written appeals to His Imperial Majesty. 
Brilliant stuffs, hung from rings, kept out the glare of 
excessive light, and the crowd of courtiers and humble 
folk could gaze fearfully upon the features of him who 
moulded or broke them as the potter his clay. I noted 
the inlaid panels in vari-coloured marbles within the 
balcony, behind the broad, low throne on which the 
Sovereign sat with his legs crossed under him ; these 
panels are very small and upon them little birds with 
flowers and fruit shine forth in cornelian, lapis-lazuli 
and precious stones ; the exquisite work of a European 
named Austin of Bordeaux, executed hundreds of 
years ago and restored by order of the greatest of our 
artistic Viceroys. 



DELHI $1 

To Lord Curfcon the world owes a debt never to 
be repaid. He has rescued these unique buildings of 
India from ruin and neglect, he has framed them in 
verdure, he has cleared the thirsty fountains of choking 
dust and given them to drink, he has raised the fallen 
pillar and illumined the darkened hall. Countless 
minds have thus been filled with delight, countless 
hearts with solace ; all pilgrims of beauty should bless 
him. 

We wandered farther towards our left, where, 
upon the very edge of the fortress-wall, overhanging 
what was once the slow-moving flood of the river, 
stands the other Audience Hall that of the Private 
Audiences : the Divan-i-Khas surely one of the 
most perfect buildings in the world. Built in 1640 by 
Shah-Jehan, fifth of the famous Moghul Emperors, it 
follows the recurrent plan of a vast marble platform, 
above which a beautiful roof (formerly inlaid with 
gold and silver, but torn away by the Mahratta 
Hindus during their revolt in the eighteenth century) 
is supported by a forest of marble pillars and arches 
decorated by elaborate and delicate carved panels 
picked out with gold. 

The lower panels are mostly of polished marble 
resembling mother-of-pearl, so soft is the surface 
upon which iris and rose, tulip and jasmine bloom in 
pale grace, their petals blown by an unfelt wind. Even 
the tapering summits of the chiselled cypresses bend 
before the inaudible breeze. 

The decoration of the upper panels is more elaborate 
and in places reminiscent of Chinese art, especially in 
the golden groups of flowers, peonies rather than 



82 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

roses, far removed from the prevalent Persian motifs. 
At the back of the Divan, all along the river-front 
are marble walls pierced by marble lattices, the three 
remaining sides stand open to the light, and through 
the shafts of the pillars glisten the farther pavilions 
and the green of trees enshrouding them. 

In the middle of the wall are three open arches of 
perfect grace, guarded below by the diminutive 
parapet of carved marble so often seen on Moghul 
buildings. Before them, with their vista of silvery 
water and pale sky, once stood that wonder of won- 
ders, the Peacock Throne. Broad and low, supported 
upon four massive golden feet, it stood upon a 
marble platform, and two immense golden peacocks 
kept watch behind it their outspread tails glittering 
with green and blue flames as the emeralds and 
sapphires encrusted thereon flashed with light. Above 
gleamed a golden canopy fringed with pearls, held 
high above the Sultan's head by twelve golden poles 
inlaid with precious stones. Swinging aloft, its eyes 
two rubies, shone an incredible parrot carved out of 
a single, cloudy emerald and, blazing in the midst of 
all, the fire, air and water of the Koh-i-nur 1 

Alas I All these treasures have disappeared, carried 
off by Nadir Shah, the Persian invader, in 1739. Only 
the Koh-i-nur was saved after many vicissitudes, and 
the following is what I was told of it. 

It is supposed to have been given to the Moghul 
conqueror Humayun, the son of Baber, by the widows 
of the last of the Hindu Tomar Chiefs of Gwalior. 
The latter, Vikramaditya by name, was killed with 
the last of the Lodi Emperors of Delhi at Panipat in 



DELHI 83 

1526. These captive princesses offered their most 
precious treasure in gratitude for the clemency of the 
Moghul prince who spared their lives after the con- 
quest of Northern India by his victorious hordes. 

The Moghuls cherished this marvel of marvels, the 
largest and most beautiful diamond in the world, and 
eventually it was enshrined in a chiselled marble 
pillar standing at the foot of the cenotaph of the 
Emperor Akbar in the midst of the aerial chamber 
which crowns that Sultan's mausoleum near Agra. 
Akbar was the son of Humayun and died in i6oj, a 
few years after our great Queen Elizabeth. 

Hindu legend recounts that the Koh-i-nur was first 
owned by Kama, King of Anga. Persian legend that 
it first belonged to a potentate named Afrasiab. The 
truth is lost in mystery. 

In the eighteenth century it apparently passed from 
the conquering Persian Nadir-Shah, into the possession 
of the Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the great Sikh ruler 
in the Punjab, who in 1839 bequeathed it to the God 
Juggernath at his temple in Puri (on the east coast 
of India). His successor, however, did not give effect 
to his bequest, and the greatly prized gem was handed 
over to the British after their conquest of the Sikhs 
later in the nineteenth century. 

How many glances of delight, envy, and despair 
must have been reflected upon its shining facets, 
what final peace in the serene gaze of our gracious 
Queen. 

But the marble arcades and the warm caress of 
Indian airs surround it no more ; the Divan-i-Khas is 
bereft of its greatest splendour. 



84 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

We turned from the Divan and passed quickly 
through the group of palace kiosks which stretch 
along the banks of the languid river, here enclosed 
by high red walls. They are strung like a necklace of 
pearls, joined one to another by the glittering water- 
channel which runs from end to end, from fountain 
to fountain through these fabulous abodes. This 
water-channel is of marble, broad and shallow, and 
small ridges, like scales, are carved in its depth causing 
the water to ripple. The little waves must have 
whispered and gurgled as they slipped along it from 
the halls of the Hammam at the north to the painted 
kiosks at the south. Over sunlit terrace, under grille 
and lattice, into the shadow of the gilded arches, 
where heavy draperies shut out the harem from all 
curious eyes, and little ivory-coloured feet or hands 
dipped in the stream and the water-drops leaped like 
silver sparks in the twilight. 

Then in the farthest retreat, in rooms cooled by 
breezes blowing through shadowed arch and darkened 
colonnade, stretched on his divan, or squatting on his 
cushions, perhaps a jewelled chess-board set before 
him on jewelled feet, gay with quaint ivory men the 
all-powerful Conqueror would play and plan, meditate 
and pray. 

The rooms of the Hammam were curiously delight- 
ful. Walls and pavements of marble, the former deco- 
rated with flowers picked out in a mosaic of coloured 
stones, dim light stealing through lace-like trellises 
to fall upon low stone beds with strangely carved feet 
dark pools and deep tanks filled with perfumed 
waters where all the joys of the bath, so exquisitely 



DELHI 85 

welcome in a hot climate, were indulged in by these 
artists of the sensuous. 

Beyond these palaces the Painted Hall displayed its 
grand arcades, recalling, in faded pictures, the brilliant 
glory of ancient days. Its walls are now covered with 
whitewash, the winter of time having buried the 
painted flowers beneath its snow. I must here antici- 
pate my later experiences and declare that I think this 
group of buildings the most lovely I saw in India. 
Those at Agra Fort are perhaps more grand and of a 
purer style, but the joyous dignity, the graceful pomp 
of these palace-halls are unsurpassed. 

As we turned away from this haunt of ancient 
delights the sun was already declining and the daylight 
had become a rain of gold, a mist of silver ; the sand- 
stone glowed blood-red and three white floating 
domes arose from a screen of leaves beside us. 

" You must now see the Pearl Mosque," said my 
charming guide, and led me towards a most beautiful 
carved and chased bronze door. It was opened for 
us and we entered a small court where the peculiar 
charm of the Indian mosque held me in all its un- 
familiarity. It is merely a loggia, with sustaining arch 
and pillar raised upon a broad terrace, part of which is 
open to the sky ; a court with a fountain lies in the 
foreground. 

The style of this unique example of Moghul craft is 
perhaps not great ; the architectural design is simple ; 
but, as an embodiment of delicate grace, repose, and 
quiet joy this building stands alone. 

Before me rose a platform upon which four-sided 
pillars upheld slender arches against a pearl-grey 



86 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

background of shadow formed by the mihrab wall 
and the low minber. Marble steps led up to these 
recesses for prayer, at my feet a shallow fountain 
spread its invitation to the faithful, high carved walls 
surrounded the sanctuary and sheltered it from the 
winds of distraction ; the trailing branches of tall 
trees, secluding this Pearl Mosque from the world 
without, alone intruded upon its secret, drooping 
over the marble coping. Bubble-domes gleamed 
white against the clouds and a strange glow pervaded 
the atmosphere as every curve and line, every surface 
and depth, glistened with a misty iridescence ; I was 
lost in the heart of a pearl. 

A house of happy prayer. Where is the anguish, 
the striving of our northern places of worship ? Not 
here. The Moslem does not wrestle with his Maker. 
He accepts his decrees and in serene meditation feels 
at one with his will. 

Great beauty is here. But perfect beauty is else- 
where. 

loth December. No rest for travellers up early 
to bed late visiting places of interest all day dining 
or dancing at night. Lady Lytton telegraphs from 
Calcutta asking me to go to them on the i4th. The 
Viceroy is to be there. It is kind of her to have me to 
stay ; I accept with joy. 

Miss Wade, Miss Kennard and Captain Dugdale 
take me off with them in the open motor and we pass 
again into Delhi through the famous Kashmir Gate. 
It is still broken and dented by the shot from the guns 
of the English in the days of the mutiny. 

The European quarter north of Delhi proper is 



DELHI 87 

entirely outside the town walls, and is nothing but a 
quantity of pleasant low houses with deep verandahs 
and big windows surrounded by green and fragrant 
gardens flaming with poinsettia, hibiscus and canna. 
These form the suburbs between the city and the ridge 
where the English waited and watched and from whence 
they eventually advanced to the capture of Delhi in 
1857. Here is the Viceroy's house and that of the 
Commander-in-Chief, 'Flag-Staff House/ and you 
drive straight from the ridge to the gate of the city 
and through the embowered streets to the great 
maidan (or meadow). There, on the left, to the east, 
rise the red bastions and gates, ^/fez/r/'-crowned, of 
Delhi Fort ; on the right, screening the dirty, ram- 
shackle town behind, the terrace and domes of the 
mighty Jama Masjid stand out against the sky. Before 
you is the southern exit from the town, through which 
you emerge upon the great plain of Southern Delhi 
where the ruins of the eight former capitals of Empire 
crumble into historic dust ; and there, too, in the 
shining distance is the red pile of Raisina, British New 
Delhi. 

We turned to the right and stopped before the great 
mosque of Shah-Jehan, the splendid builder. It was 
founded in 1644 and the conception, although one of 
great dignity and grace, is so far removed from our 
north-European architectural plans with their irregular 
planes and twisting corners, their secret passages and 
varying levels, that I sometimes wonder how its lofty 
simplicity and accurately balanced features can possib- 
ly please an Englishman. Yet the Indian architect 
attained equilibrium without rigidity, balance without 



LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

monotony, combined with a sense of proportion and 
a beauty of material seldom equalled. Their buildings 
show the same formal planning of the Latin and 
classical period almost pushed to an extreme and, 
oddly enough, coinciding in date with European 
monuments conceived in a similar spirit, though 
intercourse between France, Italy and the Moghul 
Empire was rare. I found the usual arrangement as 
adopted in all Moghul mosques. The high terrace 
reached by steps, the immense square court, sur- 
rounded in this case not by a wall but by a beautiful 
open colonnade, the Music Gallery over the great 
Gate of Ingress exactly opposite the open Hall of 
Prayer which forms a broad, lofty portico under three 
immense hollow domes. These are hollow, but roofed 
by other flatter domes within the Hall. 

This Hall is raised upon a platform to which steps 
give access : two tall minarets curiously striped in 
black marble upon white, to match the marble 
covering of the domes, soar upwards on either hand 
and shine reflected in the low, square sheet of water 
gleaming in the midst of the forecourt. Here the 
Moslem performs his ablutions before prayer. 

I happen to find delight in the rhythm and balance 
of very formal building, and to my mind there is no 
monotony where sun and shadow, angle and reflection 
cast their ever-varying magic upon such a group as 
the Jama Masjid. The shade of the huge middle arch, 
the dusk inside the mosque itself, in contrast with the 
red stone and glitter of marble outside, made music 
and movement in the noonday light. 

We were shown some relics of the Great Prophet. 



bELHI 89 

In the north-east corner of the cloister, high above 
the rattle and clang of the crowded street below, stood 
a tiny chamber holding a sort of altar and shrine from 
the unlocked door of which, as it opened, issued an 
odour of rose and jasmine. The odour of sanctity ? 
Yes, for every day the devotion of the faithful covers 
the floor, and strews the caskets in which lie the holy 
treasures, with fresh rose and jasmine petals. 

We saw the Koran which Mohammed himself had 
read ! It was in ancient Arabic : the lettering stiff, 
thick and squarely written, Cufic they called it, but 
it looked more like early Arabic to me ; the bare foot- 
print he had left upon a polished stone ; a hair even 
from his beard, in a tin box under a lid of glass. A 
long, very thick, very red hair. Henna-stained ? Or 
plucked from the chin of some infidel ? 

These treasures were shown to us most confidingly. 
I admired and wondered, recalling Morocco and 
Turkey where no * dogs', such as we, could even 
approach such holy ground. 

After due peace-offerings to our guide, we wriggled 
out of the ungainly outer shoes they had wrapped 
about our feet and descended the five flights of steps 
to the busy earth below. 

We made our way to a shop called the Ivory Palace. 
Most lovely objects in ivory are still carved at Delhi : 
baskets like lace and caskets more delicately wrought 
than those from the hands of a goldsmith. 

I then begged to be taken to the Kalan Masjid, one 
of the oldest mosques in Delhi built by Firoz Shah in 
1386 nearly three hundred years before the gracefully 
flaunting pile of the Jama Masjid. Raised upon 



90 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

sloping walls it looked almost Egyptian and was 
purely Arabic within : a small court surrounded by 
arcades simply whitewashed and roofed with many 
small domes as in our ' Near-East/ a style obviously 
imported from their * Far- West/ 

On our way back to luncheon we stopped at 
Schweiger's beautiful shop. He showed us some 
crystal Buddhas which almost brought tears (of envy) 
to my eyes. His shop was a treasure-room from the 
Arabian Nights, full of crystal and jade and tassels of 
emeralds and pearls, aigrettes fastened with rubies 
and diamonds ; turban-lengths of departed Emperors 
embroidered centuries ago with minute flower-buds 
upon hand-woven muslin. 

The best jade is Chinese, both the milky and 
emerald ; Indian jade is dark green and very hand- 
some, but has not the jewel-like depth of the former. 

In the afternoon I was taken several miles to the 
South and was shown the Kutb Minar, the mosque of 
the Lame Conqueror, the tomb of Altamish and the 
Alai Derwafca, or Gate, which leads into the mosque 
courtyard. 

I was bewildered by the haphazard disposition of 
the plan. Nothing resembling the ordered majesty 
of the Moghul edifices. We stood within a square 
bounded on three sides by a cloister built in a most 
irregular way. It was composed of colonnades of 
curiously shaped columns supporting a roof of heavy 
stone slabs and small clumsy domes, the latter erected 
c bracket-wise/ one stone overlapping the other and 
dosed at their apex by a broad flag of sandstone. I 
suddenly realked that these materials had been carved 




KUTH MIX AR, NKAR DEMIT 



Fare p. JM> 



,,,,,. m, ,-.,, 




THRONE OF MOGHUL EMPEROR, PUBLIC AUDIENCE HALL, DELHI 

(DIVAN i AM) (SEE p. so) 

Face p. 91 



DELHI 91 

and cut long before the actual building before us 
had arisen ; that pillar and bracket had been taken 
from a Hindu Jain temple formerly standing on the 
spot, representations of the human form erased by 
the Moslem overseers and most of the work merely 
put up by simple Hindu artisans. 

Beyond this medley I saw another agglomeration 
of low open colonnades and then, as sudden as a crash 
of sound, across the pavement of a wide court was 
flung the mighty shadow of an immense wall pierced 
by arches. The entrance without doubt to the ancient 
mosque. It must have been a beautiful structure, 
light and yet strong with seven lofty arches, now, alas, 
crumbling save the central one which is still intact 
and reveals the pearl-like skies beyond. It was built 
after the capture of Delhi in 1193 A.D. by Kutb-ud-din 
Aibak, viceroy of the Moslem Conqueror Shebal-ud- 
din Ghori. 

The elegant flowered tracery upon the rosy stones 
is still as sharp as ever, and the style and vigour of the 
design is magnificent. The central arch, however, is 
not a true arch ; it is slightly pointed and built in a 
most interesting manner : horizontal stones rise in 
two tiers and overlap one another toward a common 
centre until, when nearly touching, two heavy slabs 
are fitted between them almost wedgewise, thus form- 
ing a species of keystone. The overlapping edges of 
these stones are then smoothed within the opening, 
upwards into the graceful point which our Gothic 
designers reached by entirely different methods. 

The daring lines of this screen and the glorious 
tower of the neighbouring Kutb Minar bear witness 



92 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

to the singular freedom and confidence of these 
thirteenth-century designers and builders. They did 
not, however, achieve the unity of plan of later 
architects, and the awkward adjustment of the elabo- 
rately carved pillars and heavy domes, the odd group- 
ing of rooms behind the screen and the uneven 
placing of the various buildings, made an unhappy 
contrast which left me dissatisfied. 

The mausoleum of Altamish, the oldest known 
tomb near Delhi (that of the Turki Emperor who died 
in 1235), is close behind the court of the mosque and 
already shows a change of style. It is heavier and less 
graceful in design than the arcade, the ornamental 
lettering is not so fine, and the builders, apparently, 
abandoned their work in despair ; there is no dome, 
and the mausoleum is left open to the sky. 

It has been suggested that this was done delibe- 
rately, as the earlier Moslems wished the rain of 
Heaven to fall direct upon their last resting-place. (I 
recall a tomb in Broussa where the Sultan had caused 
an opening to be made in the roof of the sort of saloon 
in which the rulers of Turkey were wont to be buried, 
as he believed that earth, air and water alone should 
rest over him.) But, as has been pointed out, the 
overlapping stones of the Hindu construction of a 
dome still lie in place upon the southern wall of this 
edifice. The cenotaph itself is very plain, the Kibla 
(or mthrab\ on the other hand, is clumsy and ornate 
and the interior facing of the walls too closely covered 
with carved arabesques in flat relief; the effect is 
most confusing to the eye. 

Close to us the tower of Kutb soared into the sky, 



DELHI 93 

a curious structure strangely like a lighthouse in shape 
but very different in detail. The body of the tower 
is fluted, semicircular flutings alternating with angular 
ones ; it is broad at the base but tapers, rising into the 
air to a height of nearly 240 ft., its five stories marked 
by corbelled balconies encircling it, beneath which are 
inscriptions in magnificent Arabic script ; the three 
lower stories are built in red sandstone (as are the 
mosque, cloister and tomb), the upper stories of white 
marble. Some critics consider it the most beautiful 
tower in the world. 

It appears to have been begun by Kutb at the end 
of the twelfth century and finished by Tughlak Shah 
about the middle of the fourteenth. The period of 
our Gothic exuberance, but how dissimilar. 

Again Lord Curzon deserves our gratitude for 
having planted the surrounding spaces with trees and 
lawn, bringing an atmosphere of peace and seclusion 
to these monuments of ancient piety and glory. 

We next visited the tomb of another Moslem invader 
who reigned in a different Delhi, some miles from the 
Kutb Minar towards the east. Fresh from the vision 
of fiery grace brought to my eyes by the ruins about 
the sanctuary of Altamish, what was my surprise to 
note the complete change of style which expressed the 
attitude of the later Moslem invaders scarcely a 
century afterwards. This difference is clearly apparent 
in the monument of Tughlak Shah. His tomb is no 
more than a sombre fortress standing in the midst of 
what was once a lake, reached by a stone causeway 
and parapet leading through the stagnant waters. 

All about the mausoleum are strong walls with 



94 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

parapets for defence ; the tomb chamber is formed by 
sloping masonry of immense thickness, within which 
a majestic cenotaph stands unadorned upon a lofty 
plinth. The only attempt at decoration are some 
brilliant tiles of which a few remain upon the fine dome 
above. I was greatly impressed by Tughlak's tomb ; 
nothing I had yet seen approached it in force and dig- 
nity. Solitary in its massive grandeur, it stood beside 
the fallen walls of his half-forgotten capital ; the wind 
rustled amid the trees which had grown up long since 
in the bed of the vanished lake, jade-green parrots 
screamed and spread their fan-shaped tails as they 
swung and clung to the white dome high in air : a 
solemn peace reigned in the solitude. 

Were Tughlak's sons already living in fear of rivals 
from the South ? The avenging Hindus ? Were they 
trembling at the threat of thunder from the North ? 
Not so very long after the building of this tomb, Timur 
Lenk (our Tamburlane) swept down with his hordes 
and, in 1398, but a few miles away, defeated the tall 
Pathans and their Sultan Mohammed Shah Tughlak, 
the son of the buried Emperor, and overthrew his 
Empire. 

Three of the four walls of the mausoleum are pierced 
with lofty archways filled with stone lattices ; white 
marble lattices also shed the light of heaven from 
above. Did Tughlak, even in death, lie waiting for 
the conquerors of the Conqueror ? 

We drove on farther still, accompanied all the way 
by the welcome escort of great trees which seems to 
follow you all over India. (A shelter for all travellers 
bestowed by the English.) 



DELHI 95 

I have omitted to mention an evidence of a yet more 
ancient civilization than that even of Tughlak or Kutb. 
The Iron Pillar. Very graceful, upright and of re- 
markably pure metal (in fact its composition is far 
superior to iron melted centuries later), this pillar 
stands in the midst of the ruins of the mosque of 
Kutb, shining and unstained by rust throughout the 
centuries. It is over 23 feet high, decorated at the 
top with the conventionalized lotus-petals in reverse 
and, in olden days, probably bore the figure of 
Vishnu's vehicle : the Garuda or eagle. 

From its Gupta inscription it is ascribed to the early 
fifth century A.D., the age of Hindu classicism, a sur- 
mise which is borne out by its slender proportions and 
purity of outline. It may have come from Bihar, the 
nucleus of the Gupta Kingdom, or from Gwalior, 
as the name of the founder of the ' Tomar dynasty ' 
(reigning Princes of Gwalior) is also found inscribed 
upon it. 

We were passing Humayun's tomb and turned to 
visit it. Humayun was the much beloved son of 
Baber and the father of Akbar * The Greatest/ his 
mausoleum is fine but cold, too regular in design and, 
in my opinion, unpleasing in decoration. The dome, 
however, is good and with its four satellite domes at 
the corners of the square pile forms a striking landmark 
gleaming across the plains. 

The sun was low as we climbed to the upper terrace 
and gazed at the historic panorama. The faint shadow 
of the fort of Shah-Jehan and the soaring outline 
of his mosque were very lovely through the violet 
smoke which comes with the evening in Northern 



96 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

India. (Numberless fires are lighted and fill the sunset 
air.) 

We left Purana-Kila and its lofty walls and gateways 
behind us, I meditating wistfully that I should never 
see it again, as I was to leave early next morning for 
Agra. 

A pleasant dinner with clever fellow-guests. I find 
the people I meet most interesting ; they are generally 
very dubious about the wisdom of the * Reforms/ 
Those who disapprove assert emphatically that they 
cannot possibly be extended, those in favour of 
applying them to their farthest limit shrug their 
shoulders and explain : " What can we do ? We have 
promised, we cannot break our word." Those who 
take the matter carelessly say : " Give them plenty 
of rope and let them hang themselves." One very 
young man (I am sorry to say young) growled : 
" What is the good of India anyway 1 We had better 
get out 1 " But most smile calmly and remark : " We 
won't leave yet 1 " 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 

nth December. I leave for Agra early in the morn- 
ing. As usual a handsome A.D.C takes me to the 
station and sees me safely into the xoomy, comfortable 
railway carriage. Railway compartments in India are 
very long and all made of windows fitted with wire 
netting. They are furnished with wide leather 
couches and sometimes arm-chairs, and electric lights 
are conveniently placed to read by. 

My path through India was decorated with hand- 
some aides-de-camp and Indian military secretaries. 
They welcomed me on arrival, they saw me off on 
departure, they relieved me of all doubts as to how 
I should find out my trains and get from place to place. 
I found that I was watched over and protected as I 
had not been for years. It was delightful. 

This was my first journey of normal length, only 
four hours 1 Usually they had lasted from twenty to 
twenty-four. Traversing the golden plains dotted 
everywhere with magnificent trees green with foliage 
above the thirsty ground, I almost had the illusion of 
being in an endless English park, when suddenly 
groups of palms or a clump of bamboo would remind 
me that I was 'Auf die Fluren des Ganges. 9 

The trees of India entranced me and it was some 
time before I found anyone who could give me their 
names. I remembered the beautiful garden of the 

o 97 



98 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Jaipur Residency where I fell under the enchantment 
of that strange tree, and like a lover went distressed 
until I knew its name. 

Agra was also a garden. The white suburbs, the 
cantonment and the narrower streets were crossed 
and re-crossed by great avenues of neem trees and 
mango ; flowers and lawns invaded the very precincts 
of the mighty fort. Even against the white walls of 
the excellent Hotel Cecil, cerulean ipomaea clung to its 
galleries and opened blue trumpets blowing happy airs. 

After luncheon I went out to see for myself 
whether Agra had, as so many have affirmed, risen 
from the stroke of an enchanter's wand, or was merely 
the traveller's thrice-told tale which Sir Denison Ross 
and others had asked me to believe. But I fear I am 
banal. I fear I am influenced by sun and air and by 
the joyous welcome which all India seemed to offer ; 
I was as a spellbound wanderer in a magic land. 
. Agra strikes a grander, sterner note of which Delhi 
is the softer echo. Here the Jumna actually rolls its 
flood under the fortress walls ; here the castle soars 
far above the plains below, tower on tower joined 
by machicolated curtain-walls and massive gates. A 
stern pile of blood-red masonry. The theme is the 
same, but the group of palaces on the river-side hangs 
higher above the moat and ditch and the surrounding 
outer walls. 

Here, centuries ago, between the outworks and the 
moat, elephants trumpeted and fought while the 
Sultan and his guests looked down from his balcony 
in shadow under the domed chhatries^ and the women 
of the harem peeped at the fray through their marble 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 99 

lattices, and chattered and shuddered and laughed, 
no doubt. 

The road approaches through the outer gates 
(noble gates, built in a severe style, presumably by 
Akbar about 1600), over the drawbridge and through 
the ' Delhi Gate/ Then up an inclined plane between 
high walls to the Elephant Gate, where two stone 
elephants taken from famous Chitorgarh stood 
guard on either hand. We passed beneath the echoing 
vaults and found ourselves amid barracks and modern 
erections. Leaving the Great Pearl Mosque on our 
right we eventually reached a large court surrounded 
by red-stone colonnades and planted with trees. Here 
stands the Divan-i-Am, which is a more severe and 
imposing edition of the Audience Hall at Delhi. It is 
very open ; even the back is only partially enclosed, 
as immense stone grilles open in the midst to allow 
those beyond the hall to look within. The same white 
marble balcony and alcove provide a seat for the 
Sultan when holding audiences, and the graceful 
pietra-dura embellishment finds its later counterpart 
at Delhi. 

Shah-Jehan built most of the Agra palaces as well 
as those of Delhi, and was apparently dominated by a 
passion for building. He reigned at Agra from 1632 
to 1637, and then from 1638 to 1650 started the 
construction of his new capital Delhi, apparently 
intending to move there. In 1658, however, he was 
deposed by his son Aurungzebe and lived a prisoner 
in Agra for seven years longer, the usurper quietly 
appropriating his father's new palaces at Delhi, where 
he established the seat of Empire. 



100 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

I was first taken to the southernmost palace, that 
of Akbar ; under red arches and through wide court- 
yards, until we reached a platform almost overhanging 
the river, from the parapets of which I saw what I was 
told were the domes and towers of the Taj-Mahal. It 
seemed incredible. 

In the misty Indian air its marble walls, rising from 
the deep verdure of the surrounding courts, seemed to 
float above the molten silver of the Jumna. I gazed 
and gazed again upon the barely swelling curve of 
the great bubble gleaming with the iridescence of a 
fabulous pearl. 

Then my attention was held by the grace of the 
smaller domes accompanying it, and the majesty of 
the square court surrounding them, broken by the 
arching shadows of the mighty gate. Four minarets, 
shimmering in the flooding light, stood about the 
magic structure, like torches of light and shade. 

I had supposed that the Taj stood alone in a garden. 
But the plan of the surroundings almost rivals the 
beauty of the tomb itself. The centre jewel is set in 
an immense square begirt by high walls of ember-red 
stone, balanced by a small mosque on the one side and 
a garden pavilion of similar size upon the other. The 
entrance gate, far from the tomb itself, stands guard 
before these treasures where leaf and water, flower 
and marble, weave a net of beauty from wall to wall. 
The vivid contrast of golden plain without, the coral 
walls encircling it, and the cool depth of green em- 
bowering the pearl of the mausoleum within, was 
appreciated in masterly fashion by these Moslem 
architects. 




X 

1j 
pq 

< 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI IOI 

The architectural design of the Taj has given rise 
to a certain amount of discussion. Some writers aver 
that an Italian goldsmith, who had come to India with 
Portuguese merchants from Goa, was the successful 
candidate among the hundreds who had submitted 
plans to Shah-Jehan. Now Mumtas-i-Mahal hated 
Christians. Was it probable that her mourning lover 
should have chosen one of the abhorred Faith to 
build her monument ? Or that such an extraordinary 
fact should have escaped the attention of both Bernicr 
and Tavemier in their careful accounts of the Taj ? 

The unanimous statement by contemporary Indian 
writers is that the design ultimately chosen was that 
of Ustad Isa, some add from Shiraz in Persia, others 
add from Rum (Rum being the Eastern name for 
Turkey in Europe). 

The style, however, recalling the plan of the 
mausoleum of Humayun, built about the middle of 
the preceding century, seems to show it to have been 
purely Moghul. 

It is possible that French or Italian artists executed 
some of the pietra-dura ornamentation : delicate 
scroll-work with flowers and whorls picked out with 
precious stones inlaid. 

It is strange that no authentic accounts seem to 
exist, or that those in existence should have led to 
confusion. Some go so far as to say that the Emperor 
designed the tomb himself, and meant to build his 
own mausoleum, in black marble, to stand on the 
opposite shore of the mighty Jumna. But no trace 
of it remains. 

I turned back to Akbar's colonnades where the 



102 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

square lintels and fantastic brackets of the Hindu 
architects still held their own. What a revolution of 
style had taken place in a few years 1 And so to the 
palace of Jehangir, the father of Shah-Jehan, a domed 
hall once beautifully decorated and still showing 
strong Hindu influence ; stone slabs on the roof, far 
overhanging eaves also of stone, and elaborate brackets, 
delicately carved, show how long the Hindu craftsman 
retained his skill. 

Through graceful arches from a portico on the east 
side of this hall there is a distant view across the river 
to an horizon empty and remote. 

We now moved into another and later group of 
building ; the Grape Garden, my guide explained 
sadly. He himself, so he averred, could remember a 
time when the vast empty court was still filled with 
trees, flowers and grape-vines. In the centre, high 
above the river bank, stands a lovely marble pavilion 
recalling the Divan-i-Khas at Delhi and in my opinion 
no less beautiful. Close to it are three apartments 
called the Golden Pavilions, a name due to the gold leaf 
which entirely covers the curious ' elephant back ' 
shaped domes above them. Within these the small, 
elegant rooms, all delicately adorned with carved 
panels, were reserved for the women and their slaves, 
and here again, as at Amber, were to be seen cunning 
' jewel caches ' in the thickness of the walls. A corner 
of this fairy palace of precious marble holds Shah- 
Jehan's private rooms. The decoration here is quite 
unimaginably beautiful. Tulip and iris, cypress and 
jasmine of varied tones are painted upon the marble 
panels, at times with a strikingly Chinese effect. 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 103 

Flower petals of lapis-lazuli with drops of blood-red 
cornelian shine upon the door-jambs. 

And suddenly I stepped out on to an airy, circular 
balcony, jutting over the giddy depths and shaded by 
a dome supported on delicate columns. Here, so 
tradition relates, Shah-Jehan lay dying in solitary 
despair, his last glances resting on the grave of his 
beloved Mumtaz-i-Mahal shining faint and yet fainter 
across the holy stream. 

Awed by the beauty and romance of these halls and 
alcoves, I made my way down a stairway and was 
shown the dark * mirror-rooms/ small and vaulted, 
the surface of the walls and ceilings entirely encrusted 
with the tiny convex glass so much admired by the 
Moghul sovereigns. A light flared and the tiny 
glittering points, like stars in a dark sky, gleamed in 
pathetic gaiety. No more do the lovely princesses 
laugh to see the sparks fly in their mimic night. Only 
dusty tourists wonder at this will-o'-the-wisp ; I was 
tired and too affected by the evanescence of the glory 
of past times even to smile. 

Indeed my heart was almost heavy when I next was 
taken to the rooms of the Sultan's favourite wife. 
Every detail was dainty, every line lovingly imagined. 
How often she must have sat and waited behind her 
sighing lattices, how many times she must have played 
with the water in her fountains and lifted the hangings 
of her canopy upon the terraces, looking, longing for 
him who had laid his devotion, his love, his very 
empire at her feet. Her golden feet, slipping free 
from her embroidered shoes, gliding across the warm 
marble towards the dizzy prospect. There she could 



104 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

look down and see the black marble throne beyond 
the Divan-i-Khas where, cross-legged, the Emperor 
of Ind listened gravely to the endless discourse of his 
turbaned viziers. 

But I now did what she could not do I passed on 
and visited the Divan-i-Khas itself which rises like a 
fable of beauty in the eyes of memory. Its arches and 
pillars are silhouetted against the fading sky. Indeed 
the gold and glitter, the colour and glow of the Agra 
palaces have almost dimmed in my thoughts before 
the perfect dark outline of that lifted pillared court, 
swung high upon the soaring fortress walls ; gracious 
and serene against a light of moon-stone. 

The huge so-called Fish-court, surrounded by a 
two-storied arcade and dominated by the Divan-i-Khas 
with its carved marbles and the terrace where stands 
the Black Marble Throne, was once an immense 
tank where fish darted merrily and where in the cool 
of evening some planet hung reflected like a mosque 
lamp from the velvet depths of heaven. 

But time was flying and I wanted to see the Taj- 
Mahal in the evening light. 

We merely looked into the Great Pearl Mosque. It 
stands on a high platform of red stone, encircled by 
high walls and, like the King's daughter of the Psalms, 
is all glorious within, yet, although an example of 
purity of line, truth and symmetry of construction, it 
seemed to me somewhat cold, somehow empty of 
either love or prayer, and I wondered why the spirits 
of those who had meditated and offered up thanks- 
giving there did not still people it with their friendly 
shades. 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 105 

I was beginning to feel really exhausted and 
clambered down the steep steps and into the motor 
with relief. 

And now I have to make a confession. I cannot say 
that I have in reality seen the Taj-Mahal. Although I 
had made so long a journey partly with the object of 
looking at this achievement of Oriental art, I was only 
able to give it a glance, to bring away a shadowy 
vision, a gleaming thought. Can I recapture the 
shadow, the gleam, before they fail ? 

I misjudged my hour and the rapid coming of night 
in India, and, lost in wonder before the apparition of 
dome and minaret shining in the waning light, 
arrested on the threshold of the mighty gate which 
guards the sacred enclosure, I could go no farther 
until it was too late. I lulled my disappointment by 
repeating to myself : I will return to-morrow. Though 
no to-morrow was there for me. 

Nothing, however, can take from me the moment 
of almost dramatic intensity when I looked upon the 
famous, nay, too oft-described tomb. 

A rare inspiration moved these architects of old 
so to align these melodies, to choose these instruments, 
as to create such a perfect harmony. The spacious 
courts, the stupendous gate terraced and lofty, of 
which the curving arch (smouldering crimson, burning 
ember-red) framed the distant vision of those cloudy 
marbles indescribable in the grace of their unfolding, 
the peace of their majestic serenity breathe a unity 
of conception almost sublime. So flawless is the 
beauty of th^ structure, so true the balance of its pro- 
portions, so vivid the play of glittering white on velvet 



IO6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

shadow that I felt I had been illumined by a flame of 
joy in the darkness of a despondency. I scarcely dared 
to move for fear the dream would dissolve utterly. 

But the shaded avenues and sky-deep water-ways 
lured me on, the cypresses, like sombre sentinels before 
the tomb, beckoned me to advance. So I went past 
the fountains and down the coral gravel-paths although 
the sun had almost set and my eyes were half blinded 
by the veils of twilight. 

I was impressed by the grandeur of the mausoleum 
which soared ever higher as I drew nearer, and in spite 
of its solemnity a certain joyousness seemed to haunt 
it. Spraying flowers sculptured in a chaste profusion 
gleamed in the shadow ; Koranic letters, splendid in 
their tall procession, decorated the marble walls above 
the arches ; while spires upon minaret and dome shot 
the dusk with gold. Majesty of purpose had here 
attained the joy of fulfilment ; did a passion tender 
beyond death inspire its creation where remembered 
joys disdained the falling tears ? 

But I must hasten, I must climb the steep stairs 
leading up the outer face of the lofty platform on 
which stands the building itself. 

The Moslem guardians, in turban and flowing gar- 
ment, who were grouped about the archways, rose and 
came forward, one of them lighting a small Cairene 
lamp through the open metal-work of which glittered 
a yellow light. (I have heard that this trust is here- 
ditary, for centuries the same families tend this tomb.) 

I must hasten in, I whispered to myself, and see the 
tombs by lantern light ; to-morrow I will return and 
see them by daylight. 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 107 

So I went in, swallowed by the shadows of the 
arches under the heavy masonry forming the support 
of the dome, which swung above me, dark as the 
night. 

The guards hurriedly lit another lantern and by the 
flickering glimmer I saw the beautiful lace-work of 
the marble screen placed about the cenotaphs by 
Aurungzebe, the false son, and looked at the tombs 
themselves, or rather the emblems of the actual tombs 
which lie buried in the earth far below. 

That of Shah-Jehan was merely a narrow, long and 
low casket-shape of marble on an exquisitely moulded 
base engraved with flower-like arabesques an even 
smaller, more delicately chiselled tomb close beside, 
was that of his much loved Arjimand Banu, Mumtaz-i- 
Mahal. The ninety-nine names of Allah were carved 
on her slender sarcophagus, and the brown finger of 
one of the guides ran along the beautiful lettering of 
her own names in Persian script. 

The lanterns wavered, the walls and dome remained 
in utter darkness. I must go, but will return to- 
morrow and impress what I have seen once more 
upon my memory. 

I left reluctantly and slowly walked away through the 
rapidly falling shadows ; only a shimmer of the pale 
sky was reflected from the sheet of water stretching 
to the gate and courts beyond. I turned and gazed 
and turned again, saying to myself, " To-morrow I 
shall return/* 

But I did not return, and my memory of the Taj- 
Mahal is a vision of exquisite regret. 

December. Up and out early to motor across 



108 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

the Jumna towards the north-east of the town and visit 
the tomb of I'timad-ed-Dowleh, grandfather of the 
greatly mourned Queen. It was finished in 1628 before 
that of his granddaughter and Empress. She died a 
year later at the birth of her fourteenth child, having 
been married thirteen years. 

Ftimad-ed-Dowleh was a Persian and the father of 
Nur-Jehan (Light of the World), who married 
Jehangir, Shah Jehan's father. Mumtas-i-Mahal was 
his niece. His last resting-place is a most lovely 
example of Moghul art. It lies in the midst of a 
formal garden with pendent kiosks, water-ways and 
gravel-paths ; overhanging the river at the far end is 
a little, gay pavilion where painted sherbet bottles and 
cups, flowers and fruit joyously adorn the walls. 

The mausoleum itself stands four-square and is 
built entirely in ivory-coloured marble, marvellously 
carved, low and delicate. Four chhatries rise at the 
corners, an open-work balustrade surrounds the upper 
terraces, and all the walls, everywhere possible, are 
pierced like lace, so that a milky light reigns within. 
The low tombstone on its beautiful moulded base is 
of amber-stained marble and some of the Faithful had 
scattered marigolds over it. There is nothing for- 
bidding or tragic about this festive kiosk. Parrots 
screamed and streamed from tree to tree and the pale 
morning sun warmed the stones until they shone with 
a translucent and almost unearthly light. 

The Tchinika Rauza tomb, not far away, is half 
hidden by trees and flowering shrubs, and lies at 
the shadowy end of a watered garden where we found 
some bare-backed, dark-skinned gardeners stretched 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 109 

lazily in the shade. Severe and cube-like, with a heavy 
dome, it once blazed with large dazzling tiles : turquoise, 
green and indigo. Only a hint now remains of what 
it once was when built by Afzal-Jehan, a follower of 
Jehangir and Shah-Jehan, before his death in 1639. 

I came away thinking of Tchinika Chinese. Had 
the tiles originally come from China ? Even in my time 
at Constantinople one of the Sultan's tile-bedecked 
summer-houses was still called the Tchinili Kiosk. 

I hurried across the Jumna again, to visit the 
mausoleum of Akbar (' The most Great '), father of 
Jehangir and grandfather of Shah-Jehan. 

We drove and drove through endless avenues of 
noble trees, past the red statue of Akbar's favourite 
horse, past broken gravestone and falling Matri, 
when suddenly we met a company of fresh-faced 
English soldiers camping at a cross-road. Such a 
cheerful sight under the Indian sun. And a few yards 
farther there was the great arch, the colossal gateway 
which these monarchs always set as a guard before 
the garden-courts of their last resting-place. 

There again were the formal pathways, the soaring 
trees and, beyond and above, rising high in air, the 
imposing mausoleum itself. 

It is of red sandstone inlaid with white marble in 
varied geometrical patterns and built in four stories, 
an unusual plan. The cloisters surrounding the lowest 
storey are broken by the entrance arches and the 
corners are so constructed as to conceal stairs, thus 
enabling one to ascend to the various platforms, which 
are decorated with Matries and cupolas. On the very 
top of this lofty pile is a square court entirely screened 



110 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

by beautifully pierced matble lattices; it is paved 
with dazzling marble, at each corner stands a glittering 
stone cupola, and in the midst lies the great Akbar's 
marble cenotaph carved on its every face as with a 
jeweller's tool. 

It passes my comprehension how the marble could 
have withstood for centuries such exposure as must 
obtain on that giddy height, open to wind and rain, 
sun and cold. Was it once covered with precious 
metal like the Torana gates at Sanchi ? It is said that 
the surface of the low, marble pillar erect at the foot 
of the Sultan's cenotaph was once all covered with 
beaten leaves of gold and that it held on its summit the 
fire and ice of the Koh-i-Nur ! 

The sun shone, the kites wheeled and whistled, and 
the hot breeze drifted through the marble lattices. 
Alas, it was already time to descend and whirr back to 
Agra, eight miles to the east, and so, following the tall 
shadows cast by the garden trees, I returned to my car 
and to the white walls of my excellent inn, where the 
sky-blue volubilis blows and where I found the most 
delicious curry and chicken for luncheon. 

Fortified and refreshed, my maid and I sallied forth 
to visit another creation of Akbar's, his fabulous 
capital, Fatehpur Sikri, twenty-three miles away. 

He built this city, so legend relates, because of the 
holy presence on that hill-top of the Chisti Saint, 
Sheik Selim. Twenty years afterwards he abandoned 
his soaring palace and towering gates because of a 
quarrel with the same saint so the story adds ; the 
guide-book, however, suggests lack of water. 

The shaded road to this ancient citadel stretched 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI III 

even and straight as Akbar had built it, measured by 
his Kos Minars and well kept by the Conquerors 
of the Conquerors. Quite suddenly the fortifications 
and red palaces came into sight, rising from the hill 
upon which they crowd, dominating the vast plains 
beyond and below. 

On the north an artificial lake once spread its 
shallow waters, on the south the ground drops almost 
precipitously, so that as one looks through the stupen- 
dous gateway of the mosque on high it appears to 
lead into heaven itself. 

We motored up to and under the Palace gate where 
the musicians used to make strange noise as the Sultan 
entered his citadel and almost at the summit of the 
height, reached by a winding road lined with crumbling 
ruins we found an immense courtyard surrounded 
by a red stone colonnade. Now vast and staring, 
empty of the gay crowds and gaudily decked horses 
and elephants which once had thronged it. On one 
side this colonnade deepens into an Audience Hall and 
behind it are various apartments and pavilions where 
Akbar and his court resided. 

How bare and deserted it appeared, the wide empty 
terrace where the Emperor played chess with living 
slaves on the black and white squares 1 One gazes over 
a parapet at the fields once drowned by sheets of water 
and perceives, far below, a curious high round tower 
covered with stone spikes shaped like elephant-tusks. 
This was the coign of vantage from whence the 
elephant-fights were watched, safe in the midst of 
danger. It is said that the Sultan's favourite elephant 
was buried beneath. 



112 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Much Hindu influence was apparent and the lofty 
Divan-i-Khas (Private Audience Hall) was most 
peculiar. One discovered, on entering, an immense 
central pillar crowned by a circular and corbelled 
capital from which four causeways in stone radiated 
to the corners of the building about half-way between 
the vaulting above and the pavement beneath. Upon 
the capital is a small platform protected by a low 
balustrade upon which Akbar is supposed to have sat 
and conferred with his ministers seated in the corners 
while his guests and advisors remained below ; a very 
original but not a very happy scheme. The pillars and 
the bridges are elaborately carved and the effect most 
fanciful. 

The house of the ' Turkish Queen ' (did a moon- 
faced maiden from the Bosphorus travel all that weary 
way to find a tiny prison on this hill-top ?) has but a 
few rooms, one of them very small, fussily painted and 
carved, the details so crowded that they weary the eye. 
Quaint pictures are painted on the lower portion of the 
walls on a level with the gaze of a person seated on 
the floor ; the clouds and flowers of these paintings 
show distinct Chinese influence. Above these, latticed 
stones, chiselled into niche and shallow alcove, served 
as shelves. The curious Palace of the Winds, five 
storeys high, one airy colonnaded hall above the other, 
ever higher, ever smaller, is a building which is unique. 
The ladies of the harem are said to have fluttered 
their gay draperies and veils upon these varying levels 
while the winds floated unimpeded through the groups 
of pillars. 

The Hindu peculiarity, that of treating stone in 




W 
33 

[*< 
o 

W 
X 




GATE OF VICTORY, FATEHPUR SIKRI 



Face p. 118 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 113 

every possible alien way, copying wooden structure, 
simulating metal and even terra-cotta tiles, is very 
evident at Fatehpur Sikri. 

When these picturesque courts were filled with 
brilliantly attired people, when flowers were strewn 
on the marbles and the fountains threw their quivering 
feathers into the warm air, it must have been a gaily 
impressive scene. But from the evaporating lake and 
marshes below, poisonous emanations floated up and 
the Sultan searched in vain for water on his lofty 
summit. Every means was employed to carry up the 
needful supply, even Persian water-wheels were 
requisitioned, but apparently they were of little avail. 
The buildings where they turned still stand, but no 
water drips where the wheels cried and creaked. 

My recollection of the other palaces is somewhat 
vague ; they did not impress me as did those at Delhi 
and Agra. The great Dargah Mosque, however, is 
unforgettable. Its huge court, stretching on a magni- 
ficent level upon the highest point of the rocky acropolis, 
is surrounded on all sides by palace, gate and portico. 

The mosque proper is opposite the royal entrance 
gate, across an immense open space paved with marble. 
The marble kiosk, beneath which the saint Sheik 
Selim lies buried, shines like a handful of pearls 
thrown on red velvet. It is low and square, sur- 
rounded by marvellous lattices, and stands upon a low 
platform sheltered by long drooping marble eaves ; 
these in turn are supported by extraordinary corbels, 
shaped like dragons or snakes, also in glittering 
marble. The doors are of ebony ornamented with 
brass and the quaint grave within looks like a low bed. 



114 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Above it is a canopy of tortoiseshell inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl and a heavily embroidered coverlet is 
spread over it. This tomb is very holy and prayers are 
still said before the shrine of this saintly man and 
flowers brought in scattered petals to perfume the 
sacred marbles. 

Beyond, on the left, the level of the court rises a step, 
and again beyond are the lofty and graceful arches of 
the Liwan (or mosque). Three great chambers, 
admirably proportioned and most beautifully carved, 
form the recesses in which the Moslem faithful 
assemble for prayer ; the details are strikingly Hindu, 
but the construction is Moghul. 

On the south side of this court of the clouds is the 
Gate of Victory or * Lofty Portal/ which opens upon 
heaven itself. Within the archway is an inscription 
which may surprise some people. It runs as follows : 
" Aissa, on whom be peace, said : ' The world is a 
bridge, pass over it, but build no house on it. The 
world endures but an hour, spend it in devotion/ " 
Aissa is the Arabic for Jesus. 

It is sad to reflect that all this glory shone but for a 
day and that Akbar had to desert it for Agra in the 
plains beside the mighty Jumna. 

According to one legend, Fatehpur Sikri was not 
the original name ; Fatehpur was added to the name 
of the old town of Sikri which stood in the plain below 
in 1 5 27, when Baber, the grandfather of Akbar, here 
defeated Singhram Singh of Chitorgarh, scarred with 
a hundred scars, the bravest warrior of his time. He 
was so broken by his defeat that Chitor saw him no 
more. Did he foresee his grandson's defeat by 



AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI 115 

Humayun and Chltor abandoned for ever for the more 
distant fastness of Udaipur ? 

The sun was dropping and Agra already wrapped 
in the mists of evening. I reluctantly turned from the 
dizzy platform of the Gate of Victory and the un- 
ending stone steps leading down into the shadows 
below and drove back to Agra. There I proceeded 
to the Caravanserai where I persuaded myself to buy 
yards of glorious cloth of silver. It fell like a sheet of 
water in moonlight, and I thought I might wear it 
some day in the grime of London with the hope that a 
glitter from the moonbeams woven into it might there 
shine and light the Cimmerian shadows. 



CALCUTTA 

December. OS to Calcutta too early in the 
morning to give me a moment to return to the Taj- 
Mahal and last night it was too late. Is a regret a 
more faithful memory than a joy ? 

All day in the train Auf die Fluren des Ganges 
though they looked more than ever like a never- 
ending park. At Patna the river floated slowly by, 
broad and yellow, stretching away to low sandy 
shores. I slept restlessly on the leather seat. 

I4/A December. At 7 p.m. arrived very dirty and 
dusty, but full of anticipation. I am met by a good- 
looking A.D.C. and conducted through the streets of 
an apparently modern town to Government House, 
Calcutta, formerly Viceregal Lodge, and a most 
imposing place. 

There seem to be some favoured mortals who exist, 
as the birds in the air, or the rainbows in the clouds, 
framed by rarely beautiful and appropriate surround- 
ings, and who appear to unite in themselves all that 
this earth can give or the gods can bestow. They have 
beauty, gifts of brain and heart, youth and health, and 
when they have their being in an atmosphere of fable 
and a setting of colonnades, porticoes and white 
terraces, there is a perfection of attainment which is 
distinctly pleasing. Dignity and grace smile with un- 
conscious fitness from chairs of state upborne by silver 

"7 



Il8 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

lions under crimson canopies. Rows of dark-skinned 
servitors in scarlet and gold press palm and hand 
against bowed forehead as Their Excellencies pass by, 
paying due homage to those whose wisdom and 
courage serve to control the destinies of millions. 

I become didactic, but this confession of faith is 
wrung from me not only from what I saw in Calcutta 
but as vividly elsewhere. Take hope, ye gloomy and 
jaundiced habitants of grinding modernity, this earth 
still responds to ideals and these ideals are still ex- 
pressed in self-sacrificing service and patient en- 
deavour and, strange to relate, sometimes within an 
appropriate setting. 

Why should not Responsibility flutter the trappings 
of its heavy burden ? Why should not the flags and 
kettledrums be bright and gay ? Have we in the West 
become so poisoned by envy, malice and all un- 
charitableness that the capability and will to serve one's 
fellow-men must be stealthily disguised as something 
shameful ? 

Civilization has bestowed many things ; principally 
the power to fulfil life more abundantly. It has 
brought more beings on to this limited planet, more 
opportunities for self and others. Pity has come for- 
ward with open hands as she never did in bygone ages. 
Mercy and Toleration are her gifts. But what of the 
treasure civilization has stolen Faith, faith in Heaven 
and in Man ? Can Suspicion mate with Inspiration, 
Doubt marry with Love ? 

But enough. 

I was not so tired that I must dine alone in the 
immense lofty rooms assigned to me. I dived into the 



CALCUTTA 119 

first cool evening-dress my maid dragged out of its 
tissue paper and tore down endless stairs, across 
deserts of parquet-floor under dancing, glittering, 
eighteenth-century glass-chandeliers, to the wide red 
room in which the household had assembled. All the 
young members of the party were already collected, 
and to my delight welcomed me by whirling me round 
and round until I was dizzy. They were all there : the 
Tanagra-like Hermione, the flower-like Lady Phyllis, 
palely beaming, the sparkling Ursula, statuesque 
Patricia and dark-eyed Miss Lafone. Only the youngest 
of the family, the fairy sprite, was away I supposed 
immured in the schoolroom (but I was told afterwards 
that she had been in hiding behind the white columns 
to witness the meeting). 

The A.D.C.'s were rather taken aback until we had 
explained our P. & O. manners, and soon we stood in 
our usual circle waiting until Their Excellencies 
appeared preceded by Captain Bruce-Johnston and 
led the way into dinner, passing through the long 
colonnade of the ballroom while we followed after 
them. As at Bombay, the Kitmagars stood, a scarlet 
ring, about the table, all turbaned and barefooted, 
all bowing and pressing submissive foreheads to 
bronze palms as we entered the lofty dining-room. 

The Governor of Bengal has a beautiful head ; 
Byron might have longed to resemble him ; the extra- 
ordinarily refined features, aristocratic nose, sensitive 
well-cut lips, arched brows shading remarkable eyes, 
both dreaming and penetrating, exceedingly blue and 
darkly fringed. A certain droop to the mouth and a 
chiselled severity about the chin give character, at 



120 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

times almost sharpness, to his face. A contrast to the 
Governor of Bombay with his rapid almost jerky 
movements, his electric response, dark piercing eye 
and boyish smile. Both are of a slender graceful build 
the former more deliberate, the latter more abrupt 
of movement. 

Lady Lytton, with her eyes like perilous seas, her 
cloudy hair and fleeting wistfulness, looked like an exile 
from fairyland. What joy to be with them all once more 1 

I was told that the Viceroy and Lady Reading were 
arriving the next day for a short visit on their way 
from Madras to Burma and, to my dismay (I who hate 
rising early, especially after thirty-six hours in the 
train), we were further informed that we were all to 
be up and suitably arrayed to receive them and eat a 
formal breakfast at 8.30 a.m. Marvellous to relate I 
was punctual, and we stood, a smiling group, on the 
top of the great flight of steps leading from the court- 
entrance up to the dining-hall (naturally covered with 
a broad crimson carpet and hedged with the gorgeous 
Indian bodyguard in scarlet and gold with turban 
and spear). 

We received the Viceregal party, who had been met 
at the station by Their Excellencies, Hermione, and a 
cloud of aides-de-camp. Poor mortals 1 The east 
coast railway had been wrecked for miles by a cyclone. 
They had consequently been compelled to travel from 
Madras via Hyderabad, and had been in the train for 
four nights and three days 1 

Lady Reading is very delicate, but quite undaunted 
she walked along the red carpets lined with palms and 
flowers, with a smile for all, soon, however, retiring to 



CALCUTTA 121 

her room while we all sat down at various tables to our 
early breakfast. T.T.E.E. at a table for four in the 
middle of the room, Hermione taking Lady Reading's 
chair. 

As the prayers of the righteous serve to save the 
souls of the unrighteous, so let us hope did Lady 
Reading's rest serve to refresh the rest of her party, 
for they seemed to be made of iron 1 No sooner was 
breakfast over than they all immediately departed on 
official duties or shopping errands. Even the charming 
Miss Fitzroy (the inspiration of Shepperson, I must 
believe) floated off to buy hats at 8.30 a.m. after that 
exhausting journey. No wonder the British have 
conquered the earth. 

Apparently we are all too busy to have any time to 
ourselves little sight-seeing for me. 

After a gay luncheon, although minus the Viceroy 
and Lady Reading, we all went to the races, which were 
held in a most lovely spot. One drives there straight 
from Government House, which looms white with 
wide wings and colonnades on the Maidan, partly 
hidden by its palms and lotus-covered lakes. From 
beneath the trees of this noble expanse of grass and 
bush, you see on the left the tall row of shops and 
houses stretching far away (Chowringhi the street is 
called) ; on the right, behind more buildings, you 
presume lie the quays and docks of the mighty 
Hooghli (one of the lower branches of the Ganges), 
for there you see the masts and funnels of great ships 
rising black and stark, outlined upon the blue, misty 
sky. 

The racecourse is provided with beautiful stands 



122 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

and a most gorgeous box for the Viceroy or the 
Governor. A fine double stairway in stone (or stucco) 
curves upwards to a wide terrace where arm-chairs, 
red carpets and palms give the usual official touch. 
The stands having been built facing north-east are in 
complete and welcome shade, as are also the lawn and 
wide enclosure below. There I saw the Maharajah of 
Kapurthala walking about, but he did not join us in the 
box or in the Governor's tent for tea that day. Across 
the racecourse on the edge of the Maidan rises a fine 
white marble dome, propped by arches crowned with 
lesser domes, the whole creating a well-graduated 
pyramidal effect. A tall, winged Victory stands poised 
upon the summit, her golden wings flaming as the sun 
sinks and the marble blushes in the evening light. 
The Victoria Memorial they tell us. (Something for 
me to go and see ?) 

Nice Ralph Burton is on the Viceroy's staff. I was 
glad to see him and to talk over our yachting days at 
Cowes and in the North Sea. Sad to say, I learnt of 
Belle Herbert's death. A great loss to me. I dined 
quietly and did not join the young people who went 
off that evening to a sort of Fair. 

i(>tb December. Am I never to have a real night's 
rest ? At 8 a.m. this morning we leave for Barrack- 
pore, the Governor's country house up the Hooghli. 
A cup of tea and a nibble of toast as I am awakened 
and an excellent breakfast on board the big launch 
upon which the Viceroy, Lord Lytton, all the girls and 
several A.D.C.'s are assembled. Lady Reading is still 
resting, Lady Lytton is to motor up for luncheon. 
Steam and petrol have revolutionized the trip up the 




1 3 

s 

w" o 

cfl W 

O a 




LADY LOWTIIKR. THE GUEST HOUSE, VICE REGAL LODGE, DELHI 

Face p. 123 



CALCUTTA 123 

river. The Viceroys of old days used to embark on 
an immense barge and were rowed to Barrackpore 
followed by a fleet of smaller boats all elaborately 
decorated it took them half the day or more we 
were there long before midday. 

At breakfast my two neighbours, Lord Reading and 
Sir Malcolm Hailey, vied with Lord Lytton in regaling 
us with witty anecdotes and reminiscences. I wonder 
if I have remembered aright one story related with dry 
humour by Sir Malcolm ; I had been questioning the 
Viceroy about the great Khedda or rounding-up of 
wild by tame elephants into a huge blockade for the 
future training of the captives. From this the talk had 
turned to hunting stories and Lord Reading told us 
how some of the native Princes had solemnly assured 
him, to his delight, that they had killed two four 
nay seven stags all at one shot 1 And their narrow 
escapes from lions were blood-curdling. 

" I heard a very good lion story the other day," said 
Sir Malcolm Hailey. " Several men were relating 
their hunting experiences and were capping one 
another's stories until one's hair stood on end. Their 
escapes and miraculous shots surpassed the wildest 
imagination until one hunter, and a very good one, 
turned to the last hero and said he had had the follow- 
ing wonderful experience with a man-eating lion. 
' We had gone out to trap or kill the monster,' he said, 
( as it was devastating the surrounding villages, and 
had camped outside one of the most stricken of the 
thatched hamlets. I had just breakfasted, and had 
wandered but a few yards into the jungle when I looked 
up and saw, right in front of me, an enormous Uon 1 



124 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

He was bristling with rage and padding straight down 
upon me, his green eyes like points of light. I stopped 
and then in a flash realized that I was unarmed. I had 
neither knife, pistol nor gun. ..." A breathless silence 
ensued. Then, * Well what did you do ? ' we almost 
gasped. ' The only thing possible/ he replied 
dreamily : * I died like a gentleman.' " 

This put a stop to all further lion stories. 

The Viceroy, I am told, shot at Gwalior the second 
longest tiger on record. It measured eleven feet nine 
inches, if I remember rightly ; a very long, thin tiger 
with a poor coat, so he told me. Lord Hardinge holds 
the record. 

Nearly the whole way up the muddy, swirling 
Hooghli the shores are lined with a succession of 
native pleasure-houses, temples, and factories, mostly 
the latter. All their chimneys were smoking and I 
learned that business was good. The trade of Calcutta 
will not decline, I feel fairly sure of that. Calcutta is 
visibly a capital of commerce, if not of Empire, with 
its splendid streets and quays, its churches and business 
houses. It reminded me of an English city in spite of 
its palms and white colonnaded houses, green-shuttered 
from the glare. It even more closely resembled a 
North-American state-capital of colonial days. After 
all, the U.S.A. were founded and fostered by the same 
men as those who made Bengal ; sturdy Georgians 
with their wide waistcoats, their wigs and their 
Madeira wine. 

There is a general air of gaiety about the town. So 
light, so wide are the avenues, so spacious, so well set 
the houses. In India there is still plenty of room. The 



CALCUTTA 125 

Sahib does not yet have to hang on to straps in 
Undergrounds. 

Barrackpore, with its lofty, immensely lofty, rooms, 
colonnaded porticoes and marble stairways, seemed to 
me an ideal country place for a hot climate. It shone 
white under poinsettias and convolvulus at the end 
of a long arched tunnel of green bamboo, so thick that 
the hottest sun never disperses the twilight beneath 
the bending branches, which lead all the way from the 
river to the house. Fortunately the day was cool, so 
we repaired to the bright tents pitched in the shade 
of the banyan-grove below the terrace ; a grove 
consisting, I discovered, of one solitary tree but which, 
with countless offshoots from root and branch, formed 
a veritable little wood. 

I had confided to Lord Lytton my curiosity about 
the trees of India and he sent for the head gardener 
of Barrackpore, an elderly Hindu who, with languid 
interest, took Captain Fyldes and myself across the 
shining, carefully watered lawns and pointed out the 
various species of Indian tree which had puzzled me 
since I reached the land of Ind. They were mostly 
trees I had heard of, but had rarely seen growing. 
The teak for instance I saw, with a very large, velvety 
leaf and ample branches, the fading remnants of its 
flower-clusters still upright ; the mahogany of noble 
height with a leaf somewhat resembling that of the 
ash. There are many trees with this sort of leaf 
formation, such as the neem, the leaf of which is 
smaller, the stem slightly curved and the branches 
deliciously drooping. Also, most noble and sturdy, 
the mango, with bunches of grouped leaves long and 



126 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

pointed, hiding its fruit amidst the dark green. The 
tamarind is immensely tall with small leaflets clinging 
to one central stem, its graceful limbs drooping and 
veiling the reddish trunk and mighty branches. The 
mast-tree (or devidari) is an ornamental tree having a 
long spear-shaped leaf ruffled along its edge and 
glittering like a brilliant emerald. 

The pipal (or peepul) I had already distinguished. 
Although like a poplar in its colour, its leaf and restless 
wavering, it is of the ficus (or fig) tribe, to which also 
belongs the banyan. It has an oddly wet look ; even 
in a burning midday when the sun shines upon them 
the leaves appear to have been drenched in a silver 
shower. 

It is curious how at a distance the outline of the 
woods and avenues look like that of oak or elm, ash 
or poplar, only on closer observation did I discover 
that not a single one of these Indian trees were known 
to me or to the ordinary English landscape. Never an 
oak, or elm, ash or willow, did I see, neither hazel nor 
chestnut, maple nor poplar. And not a fir nor a pine 
tree of any kind from Bombay to Calcutta, from Delhi 
to Bhopal. Nor, strangely enough, no real fig, mag- 
nolia, plane or southern variety of tree, except the 
cypress and the mandarine, and these were in gardens 
only. The gold mohur I have mentioned elsewhere ; 
there is also the cassiorina, resembling the tamarind, 
the pomelo, with its immense pale-orange fruit, and 
that absurdly artificial-looking creeper with enormous 
leaves, broad and thick and seemingly cut out of india- 
rubber, the pothas, which winds up the highest trees, 
sometimes entirely green, sometimes streaked and 



CALCUTTA 127 

spotted with dingy white. It is the only ' jungle Mike 
plant I saw excepting those gorgeous palms which the 
gardener at Barrackpore called ' Livingstonia.' 

In spite of the shadow and the water there were few 
birds on the shores of the Hooghli. Only a blue-black 
myna or two with their orange patch near the eye and 
the white flutter of their underwing as they fly away. 
(Indian starling they are sometimes called.) I looked 
in vain for the turquoise gleam of the blue jay's feather 
to contrast with the shades of the tamarind trees. 

Birds in northern India are not as strange as the 
trees, for crows are almost everywhere to be seen as 
well as kites, sparrows and, particularly in Bombay 
where they wheel over Bungalow-point, swallows by 
the score, flashing and circling, practising perhaps for 
their long flight northwards later in the year. 

But time pressed, we were called back from our 
wandering, and our visit of inspection finished all too 
soon. We returned to Government House, Calcutta, 
to a pleasant dinner, and that night I really did get a 
long, long sleep, waking in my vast room to see a high 
sun baffled by the green slats of the tall shutters. 

\-jth December. Polo 1 Galloping ponies, light and 
swift (not the thundering chargers ridden by American 
players), soldiers and their Indian friends, beautiful 
riders, the latter with their heads tied up in soft-tinted 
puggarees with a wisp fluttering behind. 

That evening there was a State dinner and ball. 
Over fifty guests assembled in the drawing-rooms in 
the farther south-east wing. Lady Reading with a 
long silver train, Lady Lytton all in white. I danced 
and chattered and met the Chief Justice, and at supper 



128 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

in the long south saloon, where we all went in as to 
a dinner and were formally seated, I found myself next 
to the charming Lord Rawlinson who had just arrived 
from Delhi. 

My escort was an Indian gentleman on the Viceroy's 
Council, Sir Mohammed Shafi. He told me he had 
been much in England ; he spoke admirable English 
and had met many well-known English people. He 
leaned close to me to emphasize his words, in fact 
his face was very near my own as he assured me he had 
met only the very most exclusive people and, to add 
to my conviction, flourished his head so near my 
cheek that I was tempted to interpose my parrot-wing 
fan between the tip of my nose and his gestures. I 
did so. And the fan just withstood the attack 1 He 
was most agreeable, and full of talk ; my friends tell 
me he is excellent in Council. 

i%th December. Lord Rawlinson came to have 
luncheon the next day, with Captain Dugdale in 
attendance. It was nice seeing them again. We all 
agreed that the ball had been a great success. I was 
much struck by the good looks and pretty dresses of 
the women ; the men, of course, looked admirable in 
their uniforms and orders. Why don't they wear 
them more at home ? (We were all photographed 
this morning ; I looked very sleepy and dissipated !) 

Captain Fyldes took me to see the Persian and 
Indian miniatures at the Museum, and downstairs we 
glanced at the very good collection of Buddha figures 
and temple carvings from Bihar and Bharhut, The 
paintings are in rooms apart and are extremely 
beautiful. The old Indian or Hindu examples, the 



CALCUTTA 129 

Moghul school (mostly portraits), and the Hindu 
school the theme of the latter being chiefly from the 
Ramayana, a popular Sanscrit epic. I fancy that many 
of these delicate paintings are taken out of the magni- 
ficent books, often written in Persian and usually 
dedicated to some Maharajah, which illustrate the old 
Hindu legends. 

The Ramayana deals with the story of Rama, one 
of the incarnations of Vishnu ; he is in fact believed 
to be the sixth avatar of Vishnu, Krishna being the 
eighth and Buddha the ninth. Thus did the ancient 
Hindu cult absorb and transfuse the newer religions : 
Brahmanism admitting into its vast pantheon the 
saints and teachers of later-day Buddhism. 

Rama is the very human manifestation of the Deity. 
Brave, bold and tender, he and his wife Sita and his 
brother Lakshman, with his great friend and ally 
Hanuman (or the Monkey, a representation of wisdom 
and cunning), are often painted in a group together. 
Rama is painted as having a blue skin. (I was told 
that this was the conventional manner in Hindu 
painting for depicting dark-skinned people.) Sita is 
usually seated lovingly beside him, his brother behind, 
the monkey generally at his feet. The Hindus believe 
that Ravana, the King of Ceylon (or Lanka), came and 
carried away the lovely Sita, whereupon Rama called 
Hanuman to his aid to effect her deliverance. On the 
way to Ceylon to save the Princess, Hanuman hurled 
the mountain of Dronagiri at his enemies in the bay 
of Bombay, and there, to this day, it rears its mighty 
bulwark. 

This epic is ascribed to the hermit Valmiki and is 



130 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

supposed to have been composed about the fifth 
century B.C., compiled from a mass of legend collected 
about the figure of a real personage : the son of an 
ancient King of Oudh. There were several of these 
Ramayana illustrations in the Museum Gallery and 
also some very lovely pictures forming a sort of suite 
purporting to represent both music and poetry : the 
subject representing pictorial symbols corresponding 
to notes of music and special words. I cannot recall 
the name of this style of picture but they illustrate the 
Raga or musical modes. They were all exquisitely 
painted; the delicacy of the faces, the detail of dress and 
coiffure, the subordination of all irrelevant subjects 
make this Indian self-expression a very notable 
contribution to Art. 

The very sensitive decorative sense possessed by 
Indians is particularly evident in the balanced pose of 
all figures. I was especially enchanted with two 
dancing Nautch girls as well as the illumined borders 
of three paintings. The conventionalized motifs 
never become stereotyped or grotesque like the 
Chinese or the Gothic ; as in the Italian Renaissance, 
the lines are always alive, the blossoms grow, the 
lettering flows as evenly as living water. 

I there first became acquainted with Tankus : 
banners embroidered or painted for Buddhist shrines 
in Thibet and Central Asia. Some of them are revela- 
tions ; painted presumably between the fifteenth and 
seventeenth centuries A.D., they show a mastery of 
execution, of grouping and of design such as few 
artists in Europe could equal at any period ; drawing 
their inspiration from models of a far earlier time. In 



CALCUTTA 131 

one of these banners the purity, serenity and ineffably 
gracious dignity of the slender young face and figure 
of Gautama the Buddha defy description. Alas, we 
had to hurry away, and I reluctantly left the fine 
museum and its treasures. 

Lady Lytton suggests my staying on until the 
Christmas guests arrive. I acquiesce with pleasure. 

More polo. 

The Viceroy's team were practising to win the 
" All India " cup which is fought for every winter ; 
many teams coming to fashionable Calcutta from 
all over the great peninsula to compete. The 
most picturesque team is that of the Native Princes 
headed by the Maharajah of Jodhpur (the Rajput State 
I longed to visit but for which I had no time). The 
Maharajah of Rutlam is also a member of that team 
with two other Indians. They play extremely well, 
sitting their ponies admirably, neatly habited in khaki 
with riding boots, their puggaree ends streaming in 
the wind, their faces dark and set, their eyes gleaming. 
One of the best players in the Viceroy's team is H.H. 
Nawabzadeh (' brother of the Nawab,' the latter being 
a high Indian title) Hamidullah, the son of my friend 
and hostess the Begum of Bhopal. 

The days slipped by all too quickly. Tennis on the 
grass courts in the Government Gardens, tea under 
the gay tents ; the girls full of fun, the A.D.C.'s full of 
fire I There was even a fancy-dress ball at the Club, 
We all appeared in curious garbs : Hermione as a 
charming Chinese mandarin, Ursula and Patsy as the 
c Little girls in red,' checks, socks and pigtails com- 
plete. Phyllis in a most becoming semi-Oriental 



132 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

costume, myself as a very incorrect Sultana in silver, 
black and green with an immense aigrette in my silver 
turban. We danced and supped and were suddenly 
spirited away to the Hooghli where Captain Home 
handed us into a native craft like a large gondola. 
' The Dolly Sisters/ Lady Honor and I crept under the 
matting roof, Hermione sat out under the stars and 
sang and we drank a glass of beer and nibbled sand- 
wiches. Why we were not all tipped into the glimmer- 
ing ink which was all one could apprehend of the holy 
river I do not know. The native oarsmen paddled 
and swung and dipped and pulled, the shores whirled 
about until poor Lady H. grew alarmed and was 
dropped ashore, where the gallant Captain B. J. took 
her off to a more sophisticated supper and we floated 
away again upon our cheerful Styx. 

zist. Lady Lytton takes me to see the Victoria 
Memorial where all the British memorials, archives of 
interest, old prints, pictures, etc., having to do with 
India are preserved. An imposing building, both 
detail and execution quite successful, but, in spite of 
its grandeur, somewhat uninspiring. 

A State dinner in the evening and I am asked to 
stay on for Christmas 1 I almost give way to the 
temptation. What fun it would be 1 A Sunday at 
Barrackpore Lord and Lady Rawlinson arriving and 
all the gaiety Christmas brings to a happy company ; 
but, pressed by the limit of my time in India and 
having received a telegram from the Maharajah of 
Benares to say he would place the accommodation of 
his guest-house at my disposal on the 23rd, I decided 
to tear myself away, wistfully reading among the items 



CALCUTTA 133 

in the printed ' List of Engagements ' officially circu- 
lated every day : " Sat. zznd etc. at 7.30 p.m. Lady 
Lowther leaves for Benares 1 " 

The Viceregal party had left on the night of the 
i9th for Burma. T.T.E.E., Hermione and I went to 
see them off on the fine ship Lord Inchcape had placed 
at their disposal. Burma I How I longed to hide in 
the hold and be carried off there as a stowaway ! Sir 
Harcourt Butler could have put me in a tent at Govern- 
ment House 1 Only a few of their staff accompanied 
them, among them Yvonne Fitzroy and Miss Megan 
(pronounced Meggan) Lloyd George ; but Benares, 
Ellora and Ajanta called insistently 1 Now was my 
opportunity to put away the cap and bells and put on 
the cap and gown. 

Her Excellency took me to Mr. Percy Brown's house 
to see some vivid water-colour sketches by Miss 
Hughes. They were brilliant and modern. But alas 
for contemporary appeal, a collection of rare T'ankus 
on Mr Brown's walls riveted my attention and gave 
me a delight nothing else could equal. 

What interested me also, however, was a collection 
of water-colours by young Indian artists, which we 
went afterwards to see. Our painters at home have 
much to learn from them. Their subtle suggestion, 
delicate line and subdued colour ; a certain Japanese 
elegance of composition, a great sobriety of mate- 
rial and a singular concentration upon the subject 
represented (as for example the exact and loving 
reproduction of leaves and trees), combined 
with a subordination of detail to the whole, are 
qualities our Western artists are unable, or decline, to 



134 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

achieve. All these Indians have studied in Tagore' s 
school. 

This family is well known and most talented. 
Rabindranath's poems are famous and his brother 
encourages young art in India. He was there to 
receive us and I hope realized our admiration. 

I was particularly struck by a 'Cradle-scene' by 
Devavarman and also Chakravarti's fantasy repre- 
senting a child in a swing amid deep woocfs. An 
imaginary portrait of Omar Khayydm by N. N. Tagore 
was distinctly clever. Sastry's bold outlines, almost 
pointe-shht lightly-toned, of a mother and child and 
also that of a girl abandoned by her lover, were striking 
as well as beautiful. B. M. Chandra Day had a very 
thoughtful woman's head in moonlight, partly shaded 
by a sari, which was full of grace. Sen also is a very 
clever painter. All these pictures were small, graceful 
and slight in theme, more suggestions than pictures, 
and most of their authors clung to the Indian means of 
expression through line; only Tagore himself had 
attempted something more in the modern note, some 
rebus-like canvases, kaleidoscopic in colour, with the 
lure of an angular puzzle. 

Both Lord and Lady Lytton appreciate beauty ; I 
hope they will do much to encourage these young 
artists. The former is a mixture of dreaminess and 
positivism. He told me that the only true driving 
force in the world was love that we should base all 
policy on that. But in the same breath he spoke of 
having officially offered the leadership of the opposi- 
tion to C. R. Das, the violent Swarajist. Did he guess 
that Das would decline and thus furnish Swaraj with 



CALCUTTA 135 

seeds of weakness and dissension ? He appears to 
be wrapped in speculative meditation, but nothing 
escapes him, and although to all appearances abstracted 
and detached, I should be surprised if his governorship 
were not a great success. 

Alas 1 The last day dawned and, after the Races 
and an adieu to my host and hostess and the others, I 
was taken to the train at Howrah across the bridge of 
boats on the Hooghli. 

I can never look back on those days at Calcutta 
without a pang of joy and a stab of regret. Joy at the 
perfection of my experience, regret at its having so 
quickly become but a precious memory. 

A gay send-off, a comfortable night on the train (in 
spite of a certain hardness in the settees) and a safe 
arrival at Benares, the heart of ancient India. 



BENARES 

z$rdDecember. Arrive at holy Benares at 10.50 a.m., 
where I am met by an active, bright-eyed young 
gentleman, a Hindu officer from the Maharajah's 
guest-house, and driven off in a motor to my quarters 
there. One of the most comfortable and hideously 
ugly houses I have ever been in. 

The exterior is pleasing, with deep verandahs arched 
in stone, there are palms and flowers about the 
entrance, and efficient, hurrying native servants ; but 
oh 1 the horrors within. Thick carpets, heavy drab 
hangings, stuffed and stuffy furniture, oil-paintings 
in photographic poses of our unfortunate Sovereigns 
facing a similar perpetuation in oils of the late Maha- 
rajah. A nigger, life-size (in wood), seated astride a 
chair, grins at you as you enter, the electric lights are 
dissembled behind bunches of glass grapes with leaves 
in metal trained about big mirrors, while stands for 
hats and umbrellas impede you at every turn. How- 
ever, these examples of European taste were almost 
redeemed by the airy, comfortable rooms with bath- 
room and excellent beds, and from the vast sitting- 
rooms a lofty colonnaded porch opened on to the 
gardens below, which are formally laid out with 
fountains and cypresses. 

I found the house full. Lady Emily Lutyens with 
some Theosophist friends (I was told as a secret) 

137 



138 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

occupied the lower floor and Sir Basil Blackett, the 
Minister for Finance in the Viceroy's Cabinet, and his 
wife were occupying the other rooms on the upper 
floor near mine. The Indian gentleman appeared 
slightly nervous as he informed me of all this and 
inquired as to my taste in food was I a vegetarian ? 
Or to my taste in company did I want to have my 
meals alone ? I reassured him ; so we of the upper 
floor all lunched together, the Indian gentleman pre- 
senting us to one another, and I found I was most 
fortunate in meeting two delightful fellow-travellers. 
He is remarkably clever and well-informed, she a 
countrywoman of mine. Full of enthusiasm, we 
agreed to visit the beauties of Benares together under 
the able and courteous guidance of our young Hindu 
officer, Girinji Singh. 

We elected to go that afternoon to Sarnath, about 
four miles to the north of Benares, the ' Deer Park ' 
where Buddha preached his first sermon on Fire. We 
motored out in one of the Maharajah's cars and I 
eagerly explored the ruins ; needless to say there was 
no park and no deer either ; we also visited the 
Sarnath Museum, a particularly pretty building. I saw 
there one of the magnificent capitals of an Asoka pillar 
the lats set up by King Asoka, who in the third 
century B.C. revived the cult of Buddha all over India. 
It is shaped most curiously : four lions, very Assyrian 
in style, arc grouped sitting on their haunches back 
to back, ai^d are boldly carved in red stone admirably 
polished ; this pillar is finer than the same, or similar 
one, at Sanchi. But I confess that after Sanchi I found 
Sarnath somewhat disappointing. The principal 



BENARES 139 

tumulus (or Dharmekh stupa) is still very high, 
although nothing approaching the 300 feet it is 
supposed to have reached ; it was probably partially 
destroyed by Kutb-ud-din, the very conqueror who 
built so well at Delhi. It is still partly encased by 
broad sandstone slabs carved in vigorous and decora- 
tive floral design, a fine example of the Gupta style of 
work. It belongs to the renaissance of pure Indian art 
which arose after the fading of the Mauryan (or primi- 
tive) and Gandhara (or Punjab-hellenistic) schools, 
and is very striking. The shaft of the Asoka /#/, or 
pillar, lies broken upon the ground. Did jealous fury 
tempt Kutb-ud-din to overthrow this monument of 
Buddhist appeal, or is its downfall merely due to the 
sullen rage of time ? 

I was also interested by a singularly graceful Jain 
temple a structure of pure and elegant proportions 
not far from the mounds and ditches of this ancient 
monastery. 

We were not sorry, however, to leave the somewhat 
disappointing ruins and to drive back to tea on our 
lofty verandah. The weather had been perfect ; we 
breathed a veritable elixir of life and light, and my gay 
companions added to the enjoyment of the expedition. 

The Day before Christmas I We had planned to float 
down the Ganges on this morning, and to my dismay 
Sir Basil firmly decreed that we should be roused at 
7 a.m. so as to be in time to see the holy ones at their 
bath. No rest for the weary 1 So, although I had 
spent the night before in the train, up I got, and at 
the dismal, chilly hour of 8 a.m. we sallied forth in fur 
coats into a damp mist and drove through the dusty 



140 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

avenues and verandah-lined streets until we halted 
among some dilapidated buildings above the river. 
Then down a stony path, ankle-deep in dust, we 
stumbled towards the water, where we found the boat 
in which we were to embark. 

It was certainly a weird pilgrimage 1 To realise that 
I was actually at Benares, on the Ganges, seemed 
almost impossible. That the flat sandy bank on my 
right was unholy ground (no one dying on that bank 
goes to heaven) ; that for thousands of years the high 
banks we had just left had been held sacred by count- 
less millions of the faithful ; that the waters, muddy 
and dark, on which we floated were also believed to 
be holy seemed almost too extraordinary to be true. 

The mists still clung and no warming sun shone 
upon us to turn the drab surroundings into colour. 
The only touches of light were the bright saris of 
some of the women on the terraced bank and the 
wreaths and garlands of fiery marigolds flung upon the 
eddying surface of the sacred flood. 

As the row-boat (shaded by a useless awning) slowly 
paddled downstream, the left bank, crowned with 
towering palaces, temples and mosques, rose high and 
impressive. The red cliffs were carved into terraces, 
graded with mighty stairs down which thronged the 
faithful Hindus moving towards the odd little floats 
and piers upon which small platforms, shaded by 
immense plaited-straw parasols, jutted into the water 
almost on a level with the flood. These palaces, these 
steps without baluster or rail, these temples and 
bathing piers appeared to be endless 1 

Different portions of the banks were reserved for 



BENARES 141 

various temples. At some temple-steps not a soul 
seemed to linger, at others the shore was crowded 
with white-robed men, and women swathed in crimson 
and smoke-red draperies. 

Although the day was cold, hundreds were standing 
in their clothes, knee-deep or up to their waists in the 
dark stream, splashing the water over themselves, 
bowing and praying to Mother Gunga ; hundreds 
more sat huddled in their saturated cotton garments 
apparently untouched by the clammy chill. 

Tier upon tier the steps climbed upwards, crowned 
by temples where the glorious pipal tree shadowed the 
marble courts, or further on their foundations laved 
by the sacred river the fortress-palaces of Sind and 
Singh, of Alwar and Gwalior reared dizzy towers 
capped by white marble, the dainty cupolas of which 
seemed to float in the sky. 

Curious small shrines were hollowed out of the 
rocky cliffs. In some a Brahmin would be seated 
cross-legged, shaven-pated, stern-browed, lost in 
meditation ; in others slim brown youths, naked 
excepting for a loin-cloth, were rapidly performing 
violent gymnastic exercises. They appeared, in the wan 
light, to be figures of a wild phantasmagoria. 

I was somewhat disappointed by the size of the 
temples. None was striking in height or extent, and 
although the spires of the Golden Temple on the top 
of the hill rose above the houses surrounding them, 
yet the soaring dome and minarets of Aurungfcebe's 
mosque far outstripped them all. These last were, to 
me, the inspiring note of the river-front. With almost 
reckless daring they lift and taper far above the 



142 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

eddying Ganges and against the misty sky make a 
mute appeal to a God more spiritual and purer than 
that represented by the sad idols below ; they set a 
plume upon the brow of Benares without which her 
beauty would indeed be diminished. 

The Burning Ghat was very ghastly. It is where the 
pious Hindu is cremated. The stiff figures of the 
dead wrapped in coloured draperies lay with their feet 
in the river waiting for the wood to be piled up for 
the final ritual. The low pyres ready to burn, the 
heavy smoke and rushing flame leaping above those 
already alight, the half-naked men in turbans and rags 
who thrust long poles into the heart of the fire, 
appeared as figments of a horrid dream. The corpses 
are set within the pyres, huge logs are piled above as 
well as below them, and their ashes, when the flesh is 
consumed, are flung into the river. 

Is it from this daily sacrifice that Gunga shows a 
grey, ashen face? The very foam whipped by the 
oars clung dark and heavy. 

Our rowers wanted to linger near the gruesome 
landing-stage, but we ordered them to hasten past and 
I tried to forget the sordid realities of holy cremation 
by refreshing my eyes with the cool green of the over- 
hanging trees beyond, where low branches drooped 
over the high terraces and rounded domes resting on 
light pillars seemed to wait for lover and mistress, 
jasmine and the sound of lutes. 

Suddenly I was aware of the huge bridge of the 
G.I.P. Rly., a violent reminder of modern life, almost 
shattering in its contrast ; but turning we rowed back 
to a jetty in the centre of the town and, climbing out 




DOME AND SPIRES, GOLDEN TEMPLE, BENARES 



Face p. 143. 



BENARES 143 

of our craft, plodded up, deep in the holy dust, until 
we reached the height above and continued our way 
towards the Golden Temple. 

There the idols still hold their own ; there, through 
crowded alley-ways between high buildings, the 
Hindu populace swarm and sway ; had it not been for 
our guide and the apparently instinctive respect they 
pay to white people we should have been jostled and 
shaken. As it was, we walked slowly, moving along 
the worn walls, grazing the delicate tracery of temple 
enclosures overhung with balcony and drooping tree. 

Suddenly we stood before a high doorway ; two 
broad steps led up to its welcoming portals through 
which the crowds were pressing. The guide stood 
aside and bowed, apparently inviting us to enter ; I 
started to place a foot on the lower step, but a sudden 
silence and a low murmur arrested my attention, and 
I turned, realizing in a flash that I had made a mistake. 
And so it was no non-Hindu is allowed to pass that 
threshold. We moved on a few steps and almost 
opposite the temple gate we were led through a door, 
up a narrow stairway and eventually into a room 
where four or five men squatting on the floor were 
counting piles of coins, copper and silver. One man 
was entering in a huge book the totals called out to 
him. These coins were the offerings of the pilgrims 
to the shrines of the Golden Temple. 

Thousands of the pilgrims come every month to 
Benares, and it is part of their religious duty to visit 
the Holy Temple, to say prayers at the numerous 
shrines, to offer oblations of water, gifts of flowers 
and of silver, and to ring a bell hung in the central 



144 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

court to draw the attention of the Recording Deity to 
the fact that they have actually accomplished the 
prescribed rites. 

We were shown to a balcony and from there looked 
down into part of the temple. Before us rose the 
three famous golden towers and the terraces where 
doves brooded and some Brahmins sat in silent 
meditation. 

The spires are remarkable, although not very 
high; they display the same truncated tops and 
slightly swelling sides to be observed everywhere in 
India, the accustomed vertical lines accentuating the 
construction broken by horizontal lines of decoration. 
But these spires are more delicate in form and re- 
strained in ornament than is usual, the copper covered 
with gold-leaf which covers the central spire is 
beautifully repoussi and modelled with branches of 
flowers and graceful tracery. 

Of the three towers two are gilt with gold-leaf, the 
third is painted red. The latter was built by Ahalya 
Bai, the reigning Princess of Indore, who was a model 
of piety and wisdom. She reigned for thirty years, 
and died in 1795. History tells that she had the 
courage to stand and look on at her daughter burning 
to death on her husband's pyre, after having vainly 
tried to dissuade the wretched widow from accom- 
plishing this pathetic sacrifice, or Suttee as it is called. 
Widows cannot marry in Hind. 

Curiously enough, none of the buildings of Benares 
(or Kasi Ji as the Hindus call it) is older than the 
seventeenth or eighteenth century, although the city 
itself dates from the darkness of antiquity ; Buddha 



BENARES 145 

chose it as the first town in which to preach and teach 
his revelation, and it must have been, even at that 
time, a town of considerable importance. It was razed 
to the ground by the Moslem conquerors, both the 
earlier Ghaznivides and the later Moghuls, but arose 
from its ashes to appear much as it is now. 

The rites and customs at Benares are of interest as 
showing how the age-old worship of the Brahmans 
has always been attuned to the Hindu consciousness. 
For what appear to us to be purer religions have 
arisen only to be swept away or transfigured, as was 
Buddhism, or defeated and ignored, as is Mohamme- 
danism, by the bulk of the peoples in the great Hindu 
continent. Out of a population of over three hundred 
and twenty millions scarcely any Buddhists remain in 
India, they are concentrated almost entirely in Burma ; 
of Moslems there are only sixty-three millions and 
of Christians only about three or four millions in- 
cluding Europeans. (The < minority * of the Moslems 
gives pause for reflection it is larger than the whole 
white population of the British Empire.) 

In spite of the dignity and spiritual appeal of 
Sanchi and of the Buddhist temple-worship of Ellora ; 
in spite of the purity and virility of the teaching of the 
Jama Masjid and the Taj-Mahal, the Indian in his 
millions bows his stained brow before the paunch 
and trunk of Ganesh and drenches the altars of 
grimacing Durga with the blood of goats. 

The intellectual philosophy of the higher Hindu 
cult is of course infinitely refined, and, apart from 
these primitive observances, it has evolved a religious 
and mystical meaning from these age-old beliefs, 



146 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

symbolic and elevated, far beyond the understanding 
of the masses and, from certain angles, surpassing 
Western thought. 

At the Golden Temple the ancient observances still 
obtain, though without doubt variously interpreted 
by different intelligences. The bell goes on tolling and 
the crowds press through, their arms laden with 
jasmine and marigold, in their hands a polished brass 
bowl or jar, full of water to pour upon the symbol of 
Siva the reproducer, or to throw at the feet of Ganesh 
the God of Wisdom. Through the marble portals of 
the Golden Temple they push their way, gently how- 
ever, for it is a courteous throng ; past the silver 
doors polished by a million touches bestowed upon 
them, there where pilgrim slightly jostles pilgrim and 
the flower-petals drop and the water is spilled, where 
the shining floors are slippery and soiled from the bare 
brown feet which crush the blossoms and slip in 
the wet. 

By hanging over the balcony you can perceive on 
your left another smaller temple ; this one is of grey 
stone also shadowed by sacred trees. 

I could hardly drag myself away, so enthralled was 
I by the unimaginable scene below, but the kind 
Girinji Singh recalled the passage of time, and we 
followed him downstairs and outside through unex- 
pected alleys, past whining beggars and laughing 
children, dusty pilgrims and high-turbaned Hindus 
making way for us ; not a white person did I see or 
hear, only the whirl of strange, dreaming faces, the 
patter of bare feet and the whisper of low voices. 

Finally we were led up more stairs in semi-darkness 



BENARES 147 

and then, to my amazement, we came out upon a high 
platform apparently within the temple itself. This 
terrace formed a large court surrounded by a sort of 
cloister ; in the midst of the court another terrace 
formed an open loggia covered by a high roof sup- 
ported on many pillars. Near this loggia was hanging 
a group of bells, and every instant some pilgrim or 
faithful worshipper of Siva would stop and pull an 
iron chain which, attached to the clapper, dragged 
it with sudden clangour against the lip of bronze. 
The marble pavement was again strewn with flowers, 
bright-robed Hindus poured by, and, in two open 
carved stone stalls, gazing down at the passing throng 
with calm serenity, stood two beautiful silver-coloured 
cows. Nandi the bull being the vehicle (or symbol) of 
Siva, these fine animals are apparently kept here in his 
honour or are they live offerings such as we had 
noticed near the terraced temples of the Sacred River ? 
There, a Brahmin keeps a cow all ready for sale, in 
case a pious pilgrim wishes to buy her and offer her 
life to the Hindu god. On inquiry, however, the poor 
pilgrim often discovers that he cannot afford to pay 
the market price. But no matter ! " Buy it from me 
at the price you can pay," says the obliging priest 
" I myself will accept the offering in place of the Deity 
and in the spirit it is given." So for a few rupees the 
animal is bought and then solemnly returned to the 
priest, who pockets the amount in the god's name. I 
wonder what would happen if the pilgrim were to 
walk off with the offering after having bought it ! 

In front of us, in the temple, a good-looking young 
man in the dress of a Hindu gentleman was seated on 



148 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

the marble floor, and as the people passed him he 
rapidly marked their foreheads with a brilliant crimson 
sign ; some had odd white smears under the sign, all 
showed the mark freshly gleaming to prove to god 
and man that they had faithfully performed their 
devotions. 

The young priest for such he doubtless was 
suddenly arose and came towards us, a man beside him 
carrying jasmine or neem blossoms strung on threads 
into garlands. He then offered them to us ; to myself 
who stood near him and to Lady Blackett and to Sir 
Basil, who had a most restless twinkle in his eye all 
the time a sparkle of surprise most embarrassing to 
encounter. 

What a blot on the scene I felt we were 1 Sir Basil's 
good looks shadowed by the odious topee and the 
awkward European coat and trousers ; Lady Blackett 
in a black satin hat with drooping feathers and an 
ample alpaca dust-coat ; I in a white pleated skirt and 
loose white blouse, a mauve sombrero and a mauve 
and white knitted jumper (from Chanel) on my arm. 
The young Brahmin must have hated the sight of us. 
He was in perfect harmony with his surroundings ; 
his dark, smiling face, his elaborately wound puggaree 
and a beautiful green cashmere shawl wrapped 
around his shoulders. " I know him," said Girinji 
Singh, our guide and counsellor, " he is a friend of 
mine ; as he is a priest he cannot marry unless he is 
willing to incur terrible disgrace like his predecessor 
who ran away with a girl and was severely punished." 
I think he even said * killed/ 

My head was spinning, and holding my sweet- 



BENARES 149 

smelling garland in my hand I hurried down the blood- 
red stairs and was glad to find myself in the little 
piazza without but even there I was confronted by a 
huge stone bull all bedaubed with scarlet, rolling a 
painted eye beside the ' Well of Wisdom/ At last 
to my relief I reached the quiet precincts of Aurung- 
zebe's mosque, silent and aloof, although *so close to 
the medley and confusion of the temple that one half 
apprehended its restless murmur. There was little 
to see within the cold precincts although I removed 
my shoes and tripped to the great doorway in 
stockinged feet. It was closed by a strong iron grille, 
and a glance within revealed nothing but an empty, 
grey interior, the inner dome very flat and dull 
covered by the onion-shaped dome above. 

There is something baffling and unsatisfying about 
the ' fa9ade only ' effect of most Indian mosques, 
where the climate seems to have modified the original 
Arabian form. The Iwan* or usually covered-in part 
of the building, is often merely a verandah upon a 
platform with a wall at the back ; sometimes the wall 
is not protected by a roof ; the open court preceding 
it is seemingly all-sufficient for purposes of worship ; 
and although the mihrab and minber (pulpit and ' sacred- 
direction *) are always on the platform of the liwan, it 
offers a bare and uninspiring shrine. 

In Arabia, in Morocco and in the earlier Indian 
mosques, as in the Kalan Masjid at Delhi, the court is 
open, fully arcaded, and the Iwan very deep. At the 
big mosque at Broussa in Asia Minor the covered 
porticoes are so important that the central fountain 
only is open to the sky ; most of the Egyptian and 



150 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Moorish mosques are of this type. In Turkey proper 
and in Spain the mosques are entirely covered in, the 
courts being merely accessories. The artistic influence 
of the Christian churches, especially Saint-Sophia, 
may have had something to do with this change of 
style, for the great mosque at Damascus as well as that 
of Cordova and that of Omar in Jerusalem are also 
covered in. 

The Indian type when exemplified by a small 
mosque, such as the Pearl Mosque at Delhi where the 
walls of the court are high, is very pure and pleasing ; 
but in a great space with no lofty enclosure, the 
shallow liwan gives a sense of naked publicity and 
chilly emptiness. 

I had draped my garland about the horns of a 
sacred cow before entering the court of the mosque, 
Sir Basil had flung his on to another astonished 
animal ; on our return we passed them busily devour- 
ing these tokens of welcome ! I quite regretted 
having exposed mine to such a fate ; but to be ab- 
sorbed by a daughter of Nandi is perhaps a holier end 
than to dry in the portfolio of a Christian female 1 

Although by this time almost faint with fatigue, 
we could not resist a visit to one of the famous Benares 
shops where the most ravishing gold and silver tissues 
tempt the staidest with the whisper : " For presents, 
if not for self I " I fell ; not so Lady Blackett. Her 
husband offered her the most alluring sea-green and 
silver sari, but she remained firm a model consort. 

At last we tore ourselves away and at twelve o'clock, 
noon, had a second breakfast not having eaten any- 
thing since 7 a.m. My meals at Benares were more 



BENARES 151 

Oriental than the Orientals' (who rarely cat at fixed 
hours). 

Were we killing our young guide ? Undeterred by 
our busy morning we packed into the motor again at 
about three o'clock and drove through Benares to the 
Monkey Temple, the temple of Durga the Terrible, 
the spouse of Siva the Destroyer. 

The streets through which we drove were fairly 
wide and the macadam very good. The shop-fronts 
were all open, small and crowded with wares, the 
different kinds of ware concentrated each in their own 
street, so that one saw rows and rows of leather work, 
or basket work, or fruit then toys, then materials, 
then cutlery, etc. We could not resist a look at these 
narrow lanes, which were like those in an Arabian 
Nights' tale. The shop appeared to be one large show 
arranged on a slope with scarcely any room for the 
solitary merchant, who, seated huddled in a corner 
working at some piece of jewellery or leather work, 
would emerge shyly on our approach and try to tempt 
us with lovely bits of filigree in gold or silver and slender 
glass bracelets or gay tinsel tassels and fringes. 

We had to hasten, however, through these quaint 
alley-ways, and after driving along a smooth avenue 
lined with high walls and trees, or queer grey hovels, 
we stopped before the holy place of Durga or the 
Monkey Temple. 

I again experienced surprise at the smallness of the 
Hindu temple. It was built in a square, barely 45 feet 
each way, set on the usual terrace and surrounded by 
the usual paved court. Picturesque but not imposing. 

We were permitted to climb up into the loggia over 



152 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

the gateway and to walk about a terrace which formed 
a kind of cloister round the court. Some glorious 
tamarind trees soared and drooped beside the temple 
spire, their rough trunks almost as blood-red as 
Durga's temple itself, and, hanging from the trees in 
groups and chains, a crowd of monkeys came tumbling 
down, galloping over the terraces towards us, well 
knowing we would feed them with some sweet stuff 
which is there provided for the purpose. They are as 
tame as dogs, but alas ! not so beautiful ; the little 
rainbow-hued cushions with which Nature has pro- 
vided them to sit on are unworthy of her. We were 
shown the place where they told us that a goat is daily 
sacrificed to the fearful Goddess ; whether this is true 
or no I cannot say. 

We left without regret, and our guide proposed a 
visit to another small building among some trees we 
could just espy from Durga's temple. 

" Let us go," we assented, and behold ! that proved to 
be the loveliest Hindu temple I saw in India. It had not 
the beautiful bell supported by curious bronze dragons 
which hangs in the quadrangle of Durga's shrine, nor 
had it the graceful open porch upon the square plinth 
forming the entrance to that shrine (usually a Jain 
feature), but its situation and its proportions were of 
rare loveliness. Before it lay an immense square of 
silken faintly-blue water, framed by lofty banks of 
ruddy stone ; broad steps led down to the murmuring 
ripples on every side and, clinging to one of the high 
containing walls, a little marble pavilion with tiny 
cupolas above, invited one to rest and contemplation. 

Beyond this shining solitude, at the top of a flight 



BENARES 153 

of steps which rose from the water, framed by a grove 
of trees, stood the delicate little temple where, alone 
of all the Hindu shrines I saw, it seemed that prayer 
might find an answer. 

It is placed upon a lofty, square terrace paved with 
alternate slabs of white marble and of red sandstone ; 
the usual square temple with square doors, tapering 
spire and mounting steps. But in the grace of every 
proportion, in the delicate decoration of carved flower 
and tendril, in the restraint and order of the entire 
building, Hindu art seems to have surpassed itself and 
to have here discarded the brutal and sensual exaggera- 
tion it so often displays. The grey stones, carved and 
chiselled with a masterly hand, their beauty undimmed 
by the touch of time, are an enchantment. The 
marble was warm under my feet as I passed over its 
sunlit surface, the myna-birds chuckled and whistled 
in the green depths of the grove, and orange-red 
pomegranate flowers bloomed in the court below. 

2 5 th December. Christmas. A very unusual Christ- 
mas, warm and sunny. I put on a white cashmere dress 
with a fringed cape, a white straw hat with a twisted 
quill, and went to church. I found myself surrounded 
by worshippers of all colours excepting black. 

I was struck that morning by the pathetic fate of the 
Eurasians. Nothing can explain why Nature ordains 
that different races shall intermingle only at their 
peril. The result may be brilliant in one case in 
another you cannot escape the impression that the 
child itself of a mixed marriage feels unequal to the 
intellectual effort of either race. 

The apologetic air of the darker members of such 



154 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

a family, the jaunty air of the whiter ones. The latter 
are often perfectly white and may even have fair hair ; 
but there is a slight thickness about the lip, a pro- 
minence about the cheek-bone, shadows, not carmine 
but smoky-red, about the ears and hands, an oddly 
shaped kink at the tip of the ear ; these things always 
seem to tell the tale they would fain forget. Curiously 
enough, the distinctive traits of the Eurasian are not 
Indian in character, they miss the beauty of outline 
and almost classical purity of shape one often notices 
in the Indian, a beauty unsurpassed by the western 
Aryan. Is it possible that a very distant mixture with 
an African or Chinese type lies dormant in the Indian 
Aryan and only comes to light when mixed with 
purely Aryan blood ? 

If these people were simple and not conscious of 
their foreign descent, perhaps they would not make 
one feel a vague uneasiness ; but neither the white 
nor the dark will treat them as dark or white, and the 
result is saddening. 

The Eurasians and Asians sat on the right side of 
the church, the Europeans on the left, whether by 
arrangement or not I do not know. 

We were told that the Maharajah was coming to 
pay us a visit before luncheon, so we waited and 
waited. No Maharajah 1 At last, at two o'clock, faint 
from want of food, we proceeded to have our mid-day 
meal, and, wonder of wonders : plum-pudding! Plum- 
pudding burning bright. We were really touched. 
I noted, by the way, no dearth of wine or spirits in 
the Hindu establishments. It was otherwise in the 
Moslem guest-houses, where I had to sip a few drops 



BENARES 155 

of brandy from my tiny travelling-flask to assist my 
digestion, which suffered from the lack of no other 
aperitif but cold water. 

After our Christmas cheer the Indian Ruler was 
announced an elderly gentleman who spoke some 
English in a measured, tentative manner and every 
now and then startled us by giving vent to shrill 
little chuckles for no apparent reason. Perhaps we 
appeared so extremely funny to him that he could not 
control himself. He wore a tiny toque, jauntily set 
on one side of his head, and a tight damask morning- 
coat, buttoned up to the neck. A fine and dignified 
costume, or so I found it, often worn by Indian 
gentlemen. 

He very kindly gave each of us a beautiful book of 
photographs of Benares which he had wished to place 
at our doors in the morning and over which we 
should have inevitably tripped on emerging from our 
rooms ; but our kind young officer had rightly told 
him that we should appreciate our gift more from his 
own hand. 

Sir Basil, being Minister of Finance in the Indian 
Government, could of course accept no richer present, 
as it is contrary to all regulations for British officials 
to receive any gift. I truly appreciated the Maha- 
rajah's kind thought and I only hope he guessed from 
my words the sincerity of my gratitude for his hospi- 
tality and his thoughtfulness. He proposed our going 
to visit his palace that afternoon at Ramnagar, and 
after some very desultory but complimentary conversa- 
tion the Maharaj Sahib left. 

The rank of Maharajah appears to be varied and 



156 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

rather arbitrary. The most important of the native 
Princes of India ruling over their own territories 
under British protection is His Exalted Highness The 
Nizam of Hyderabad. There is but one Nizam. I 
believe that the Maharana of Udaipur comes next in 
rank and has a salute of guns and the tide of Highness. 
Many others have a right to that title and some are of 
as ancient descent as the Prince of Rajputana ; others 
such as Kapurthala and Gwalior are of less exalted 
lineage. Then there are Their Highnesses the 
Nawabs (the old English term nabob was no doubt 
derived from these), such as His Highness the Nawab 
of Bhopal, the ruler of a goodly sized independent 
state. All these rulers have precedence over those 
Maharajahs who own no territory and have no 
authority to entitle themselves Highness nor, grief 
to the Oriental heart 1 the right to a salute of guns 
fired at their approach at the great Durbars. There is 
also the delicious title of Jam : His Highness the 
Jam Sahib. 

The only title with which I was familiar before my 
visit, and the bearers of which I expected to meet at 
every turn, was that of Rajah. The Indian Rajah 1 
I never saw one 1 

In the afternoon we motored along a deeply shaded 
avenue to Ramnagar and were there shown over a 
roomy and cheerful modern palace, court after court, 
saloon after saloon, like a large rambling country' 
house, admirably situated on the lofty right bank of 
the Ganges. This site has its advantage, as every truly 
pious Hindu must bathe in cold Ganges water every 
morning or go without his breakfast (or so I was told). 



BENARES 157 

Apropos of ' no breakfast ' the following unusual 
anecdote was told us as absolute truth by our guide, 
Captain Singh. 

A friend of his in Benares was engaged to be 
married. The usual ceremonies were held, and at last 
on the final morning, when the concluding and definite 
services were due to take place, the bridegroom 
suddenly declared that he would eat no breakfast ! 

Eat no breakfast ? 

Consternation Despair ! 

What was the cause of this terrible decision ? 

Plunged in gloom, after many entreaties, the bride- 
groom at last informed his distracted father that it 
was because the wedding presents did not include a 
motor-car. 

No motor-car ? cries the parent, immensely re- 
lieved. Is that all ? But as motors are extremely rare 
in the Holy City, every shop, every house, every hotel 
is then ransacked. But in vain. 

Not a motor is to be found anywhere. 

This is reported in shaking tones to the son. He 
shrugs his shoulders and again utters the awful 
threat : * no breakfast ' 1 Beside himself, the unhappy 
father again hunts high and low ; at last, at one of the 
hotels, the manager declares that he is prepared to 
sacrifice his second-hand car for the sum of 4000 
rupees ! (nearly 300). Done 1 cries the lucky forbear 
of the thrice-lucky bridegroom, who, smiling and 
triumphant at last, consents to eat his breakfast. 

Capt. Singh laughed at the tale as much as ourselves, 
but he laughed even more at an incident which had 
happened to himself. 



158 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

He had once had an unpunctual and disobedient 
soldier under his orders, whom he had been compelled 
to punish. Thereupon the man deserted. He com- 
pletely disappeared. A year or two afterwards he 
turned up again and presented himself smiling to his 
old Captain, who, very irate, exclaimed : " I'll clap 
you into prison ! " 

" Wait a bit," answered the fellow, " let me tell 
you my story 1 I fled from here without a penny and 
wandered for many days saying my prayers at many 
shrines, until at one shrine I found a pious fakir who 
was ill. I took pity on the holy man and resolved to 
devote myself to his service. He gathered in many 
offerings and placed his wealth in great security. But 
his wealth did not save him departing from ' this act 
of eternal pilgrimage ' and he died "... 

" Well," burst out Girinji Singh, " what has that 
to do with your fate as a deserter ? " 

" Oh ! my lord," he said with a broad grin, " now 
I have thousands of rupees, fields with grain and fine 
cattle, and I am the owner of five elephants 1 Surely 
you would not punish me now 1 " 

The elephants got him off. Capt. Singh did not have 
him shot at dawn, and whether the man had strangled 
the fakir in his sleep or not no one ever told. There 
are ups and downs in Wall Street and in London City, 
but no vicissitudes of fortune as picturesque as this. 

Captain Singh showed us the armoury where the 
most beautiful daggers with jade hilts inlaid with rubies 
and gold and silver damascened blades were ranged 
in glass cases carefully ticketed. Other poniards 
slept in ivory sheaths more lovely than lilies, and I 



BENARES 159 

admired a long glittering scimitar, apparently in silver, 
powdered with turquoises, which looked as though it 
had been stolen from a prince in an Eastern fairy talc. 
Perhaps it was indeed one of those from the Book of 
Fairy Tales which we were afterwards shown. 

We glanced over two out of eight volumes, every 
one hand-written in exquisite Persian script. They 
were the translation of the Hindu epic, the far-famed 
Ramayana, from Sanscrit into the literary Persian of 
the time (originally made by Abou Fazl in the reign 
of Akbar, but these appeared to me to be later, perhaps 
in the seventeenth or more probably the eighteenth 
century). These parchment books were all illustrated 
with the most delicate miniature painting. I wanted 
to look at every picture, to examine every volume, for 
here, almost as in a film, could be followed every 
incident of Rama's life ; the painter having delineated 
each gesture, every adventure of the hero in such 
minute detail that the same incident in several tableaux 
filled entire pages. But we had to tear ourselves away 
as tea awaited us in a boat on the Ganges and the sun 
was already low in the sky. 

" I am rather hurried to-night," exclaimed our 
guide ; " a friend of mine has left his wife and boy in 
my care and the boy is ill, ill with diphtheria, so I 
promised to bring him some anti-toxin." 

" But you have it with you ? " we exclaimed. 
" Leave us now and take it to the child at once." 

" Oh no," he replied casually ; " there is no 
hurry." 

" But you must," we insisted. 

" No, I left it at the guest-house," he said. 



l6o LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

" Was there much illness about ? " we inquired. 

" Oh yes, a lot of diphtheria at Ramnagar, and my 
family is not strong. I myself was so delicate as a 
child that I had to be sold." 

" Sold ? " we ejaculated in amazement. 

" Yes. A Brahmin told my parents that the only 
way to save me was to sell me as a slave. So I was 
sold," and he turned to us laughing, " sold to an old 
farmer for two pi ! And he brought me up whilst I 
brought up a dog. A dog for luck ; for whatever 
happened I had to feed and care for the dog myself 
and here I am ! " he laughed again. " But not so very 
strong/' and he coughed. He really did not seem to 
care about his own health any more than about that 
of the sick child. We could not even persuade him to 
leave us when we had eventually found our boat after 
crossing (contrary to regulations, I could not find out 
why) the bridge of boats over the Ganges below the 
town. 

We settled comfortably in our craft, it was by now 
quite dark, and tea by lantern-light proved most wel- 
come. We were soon moving upstream in the star- 
light, and in the sky shone the radiant Star of Bethle- 
hem, swinging above the minarets of the mosque of 
Aurungzebe and the idol-temples of Siva and of his 
son Ganesh. 

Pagan, Christian, Moslem, Idolaters, yet all with 
one purpose ; all pathetically united in their quest for 
Truth. Truth apprehended under many forms. Hope 
invoked in different tongues. But despair weeping 
the same salt tears. 

The night grew darker, the deserted waters blacker. 



BENARES l6l 

Only her c and there a wavering light or two flickered 
upon the ripples, tiny wicks in oil set to sail in a 
fragile earthen cup down the Ganges. For a custom 
prevails at Benares and is still followed by young 
girls whose hearts have been touched by love. They 
light a small wick placed in oil within a tiny cup. 
This frail ship of hope is launched upon the ripples 
of the holy river, and if the light burns bright and long 
as it floats away, their affections will be requited. If 
the flames are rapidly extinguished, then, alas ! their 
love must be unhappy. 

Then of a sudden the lurid flame of some temple- 
watch and, most horrible ! sparks showering and 
leaping from where bare arms with long stakes turned 
the logs and embers of funeral pyres. Gustave Dor : 
the black heights above, the temple-spires, the palace- 
towers looming against the faint sky and the rain of 
impure fire streaming to the stars. 

We nearly touched the sinking ruins of a huge 
temple, a mass of broken fragments, which for years 
has lain on its side half in and half out of the water. 
There the splashing oars rested, while we listened to 
the temple-music made with pipe and string, in a 
rhythm abrupt and fitful. 

Suddenly Rimsky Korsakoff's 'Chant Hindou* 
came to my mind, and now, whenever I hear that air, 
I am haunted by the vision of the Ganges at night ; 
banal as that song has become, it harmonized strangely 
with that theatrical setting and seemed vaguely 
appropriate to that weird scene. 

We hurried home, late for dinner. We had been 
promised some dancing by Nautch girls afterwards, 



162 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

and our delightful Captain Singh was to have returned 
and seen them with us. But he never reappeared. And 
we are still wondering whether he was overcome by 
our indefatigable powers of sight-seeing ! Snuffed 
out! 

However, he was replaced by a brother-officer much 
older and stouter than himself who had made no 
attempts to adopt European evening-dress or modern 
manners. On the contrary he was very courteous, 
and with elaborate ceremony he introduced, after 
dinner, a couple of musicians in very nondescript 
attire. It cannot be denied that there is something 
distinctly surprising in a musician dressed with a 
turban, in a European woollen jacket, with draped linen 
trousers and no shoes and stockings. Yet it is the 
favourite garb of millions and millions of Indians ; 
the Bengalis omitting the turban. 

The draped trousers are particularly characteristic 
of the man in the street. They appear to be composed 
of a long strip of cotton, once white, which hangs 
loosely about the bare legs and is drawn up between 
the thighs with flowing ends in front. Some wear 
them almost as wide and flapping as a petticoat, 
others drape them tightly and neatly. Worn with a 
wadded cotton jacket or a long linen coat shaped 
gracefully to the slim Hindu waist, these trouser- 
draperies look very well and appropriate ; they are 
less effective, however, when worn with a baggy 
Norfolk jacket. 

Our musicians, however, were not thinking about 
their appearance, but about their performance. One 
of them carried a strange sort of drum on which he 



BENARES 163 

thumped and twiddled his fingers and which alone 
kept alive a mysterious sense of rhythm ; the other 
played a kind of violin, somewhat resembling a 
Moorish rebab, in an erratic manner. Indeed the airs 
they produced quite recalled the Moorish music 
which I had heard in Morocco nearly twenty years 
ago. The same quarter-tones were employed, the 
same suddenly varying rhythms and unexpected 
suspensions. Their favourite theme was a short 
refrain repeated over and over again, the rebab sharply 
fiddled it out, while the time and measure were supplied 
by the tambourine-drum which gave all the variations 
of forte and piano, the send-off and the abrupt and 
surprising halt ! 

After a short prelude by these gentlemen, a young 
woman entered the room, and gazing at us sleepily 
moved aimlessly to and fro chewing some root or 
betel-nut all the time. The chewing of betel-nut is a 
very prevalent habit in India. The juice thus pro- 
duced is blood-red, the teeth and lips are stained, and 
the curiously unpleasant result makes it repellent to 
Europeans. It is supposed to possess slightly narcotic 
properties. She was enveloped in a Nottingham lace 
curtain and vari-coloured draperies, and though far 
from slender had a pretty face with softly classic 
features, smiling dark eyes and lovely hands. Her feet 
were bare, but she wore heavy silver anklets adorned 
with little silver bells which chimed and tinkled in 
measure with the drum. She swayed slightly and 
then, having cast a glance at the busily thumping and 
scraping musicians, who immediately redoubled their 
efforts, she burst into song : curiously sharp and nasal 



164 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

in tone, the refrain reiterated at frequent intervals, the 
time punctuated by a clash of her silver anklets, her 
hands and arms slowly waving in graceful gestures. 
The song quite incomprehensible to us went on 
and on ; she was evidently telling a story in rhyme, 
a very long story; each sentence concluded with an 
emphatic catch of the breath, and suddenly for no 
apparent reason she stopped dead and the musicians, 
unevenly trailing their notes and thrums, also fell 
silent. 

We expressed our delight to the polite officer who 
had taken the place of our gay young Captain, and he 
translated a few words of the song to Sir Basil, who 
appeared somewhat embarrassed and did not attempt 
to explain them to us 1 

Other people, dark and vague, drifted in to see 
the show, and (although quite invisible) all the un- 
touchables in the compound seemed to be breathing 
and creaking behind the numberless doors which 
surrounded the room. 

The officer informed Sir Basil that the Nautch girl, 
instead of being seventeen or eighteen as I had 
supposed, must be over thirty. She had a very 
smooth skin like magnolia petals. Asked whether 
she had any children, he remarked : " No, she has not 
yet issued any birth." Sir Basil did not find courage 
to repeat this to us until later. 

After an hour or two of this damsel, another 
Nautch girl appeared. She wore a very elaborate 
dress ; her black hair was confined by a most lovely 
jewelled ornament, quite flat and very chic, which 
clung to her head with two jewelled plaques over her 



BENARES 165 

cars. Both girls wore the sari draped about them and 
drawn over their heads, the Greek himation y the most 
graceful of any woman's garments. But alas I Neither 
of them was slender, supple nor long of limb, so the 
secret beauty of all drapery was scarcely revealed. 

The second woman was evidently the better dancer. 
She revolved in perfect time, clapping her pretty 
hands and clashing her silver anklets ; she also shook 
her head together with her neck from side to side, a 
favourite trick of Nijinski's in the Russian ballet, and 
she even gave us a mild version of the danse du venire, 
as did also her companion, both looking rather 
shy, having been warned not to give us too many 
shocks. This girl also sang a song or two in funny 
English about a * leetle burrrd ', and, much to his 
confusion, tunefully demanded of Sir Basil whether 
it was not better to remain single and let the money 
jingle ? 

Every window was wide open, and I was chilled 
to the bone in my thin evening dress. But no one else 
minded, indeed the poor dancers wiped the beads of 
exertion from their brows while dancing bravely on. 
I suddenly discovered, however, that it was one 
o'clock a.m., and as I had to start on my travels at 
5 a.m. I reluctantly broke up this most unusual and 
delightful party. 

26/A December. 5 a.m. Pitch dark I am dazed 
with sleep but must motor to Moghul-Serai and pick 
up the express for Manmad, where we arrive to- 
morrow morning on our way to Ellora. There, 
thanks to the Viceroy, I am to spend two or three days 
at the Nizam's guest-house at Rauza near Ellora and 



l66 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

visit the famous temples and caves in that famous 
valley. 

The train as usual was very comfortable, a huge 
carriage for my maid and myself, my bearer Samji 
finding a place in the part of the coaches reserved for 
Indians, whence he would emerge and appear, silently 
and suddenly, to wait on us, clad in his flapping draped 
trousers and a woolly jacket with a jaunty little polo- 
cap perched above his grave, dark face and haunted 
eyes. He would squat on the floor and proceed to 
boil the water on my travelling-lamp, and prepare 
or pack the bedding. 

I always brought my provisions with me bovril, 
boiled eggs, cold chicken and tea, although it was 
hardly necessary, as the Company arranges excellent 
meals at proper intervals when there is no restaurant- 
car. Have I noted the extraordinarily small size of 
chickens in India, and their tiny eggs ? They were 
most surprising but very good. 

The formation of the land through which we jour- 
neyed was very peculiar, the earth and rocks having 
the exact shape and colouring of those one wonders 
at on Chinese screens. Top-heavy mounds, the bases 
of which are eaten away in the most irregular manner, 
cover the landscape as far as one can see. No trees, 
no water, only tufts of grass clinging to the upper 
surface of these curious eruptions. 

A terrible country to travel through on foot or on 
horseback, as every path winds and twists around 
these hillocks and one is surrounded on all sides by 
apparently impassable earthy bulwarks. What a 
relief it was to be rushing over it on rails, where the 



BENARES 167 

hollows between the mounds must have been labo- 
riously filled in, for we were flying over the heights in 
rapid security. 

I noted with pleasure, perched on the fences by the 
railway, the lovely king-crow, not in the least like our 
humble crow, excepting that it is jet black, for it is 
scarcely as large as a blackbird and flaunts two proudly 
flung tail-feathers, also jet black, which are twice as 
long as itself. 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 

MANMAD at 8 a.m. Change into the narrow-gauge 
railway for Daulatabad. Samji was slow and evidently 
trusted to custom in India where white women have 
precedence in first-class railway-coaches. Here there 
happened to be only one first-class carriage on the 
train, so I was much annoyed on my arrival to find 
two Japanese men installing themselves in it. As they 
and their luggage filled the enure compartment, my 
maid and myself had to travel second-class. I thought 
them very rude, and made several cutting remarks 
about the way women were treated by some foreigners, 
which luckily the grinning little Japs and the helpless 
Eurasian station-master seemed to understand. Nor- 
mally I would not have minded in the least, but an 
outburst did seem to be warranted against those 
smilingly expressionless little Japanese who pretend 
to think themselves the future rulers of India that 
is what they repeat out here and their behaviour was 
all the more objectionable in a country where white 
women are treated with the most perfect politeness. 
In feet, I think I am getting a little spoilt. 

We arrived at Daulatabad at 11.30 and were met by 
Mr. Squire, the Resident's right-hand man, who drove 
me along a model road through a lovely country. On 
arrival at Rauza guest-house I immediately plunged 

into a bath (one of the immense tin tubs placed in a 

169 



170 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

hollow in the cement floor, such as you nearly always 
find in India) and then felt prepared to greet my 
fellow-beings once more. After a night in the train 
I need more than half measures. No splashing in 
tepid water, no gritty soap slopping about a tin basin 
as the carriage reels and rocks, is sufficient to restore 
my self-respect. And yet I have heard of brave and 
dauntless people who are quite sure of themselves 
after the ministration of a handkerchief and eau-de- 
Cologne 1 

I found Mr. (since Sir) Lennox Russell and his 
pretty wife already in possession of the guest-house, 
also his sister Miss Russell and some friends of theirs 
from Hyderabad where he is the Resident. They had 
arranged to visit the ruins of the town and fortress 
of Daulatabad that afternoon, and as they promised 
that I should be carried up part of the way in a chair 
I summoned my courage to join them. 

It was steeper than I had anticipated ! 

As we drove up in our motors the pavilion with 
arched windows and the crowning towers loomed far 
above the lofty minaret which lifted its graceful 
balconies at the foot of the fortress-hill of Daulatabad. 
I was much surprised to find the remains of a Moghul 
capital in this central part of India. The great rock 
itself, over 500 feet high, was originally fortified 
in the thirteenth century, evidently prior to the siege 
in 1295 by Allah-ed-Din Khilji, the future conqueror 
of Chitor and lover of Padmani. He captured the 
town, then named Deogiri, but failed before the 
courage of the defenders of the citadel, and raised the 
siege on receiving the fabulous ransom of 1500 Ibs. 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD iyi 

of gold, 2500 Ibs. of silver, 50 Ibs. of diamonds and 
175 Ibs. pf pearls. Fantastic ! 

Poor Deogiri, not an ounce of gold, pearl or even 
of silver, could it provide now. But it suffers no 
more assaults ; the only strangers who attack its giddy 
ramparts are the guests of the Nizam, armed with 
kodaks, topees and parasols. 

Another conqueror, Mohammed Shah Tughlak (the 
Bloody King), who is buried in the sternly beautiful 
mausoleum south of Delhi, attempted, in 1338, to 
settle some of the inhabitants of that northern town 
at Deogiri, and changed its name to the one it now 
bears. But success did not attend his drastic methods 
and his plan ended in failure. However, later Moghuls 
appear to have favoured Daulatabad, as the Emperor 
Shah-Jehan often visited it and must have prayed in 
the mosque outside the triple ramparts and gates of 
the fortress, while the muezzin sounded from the 
beautiful Chand Minar (tower of the moon). 

I noticed the singular grace and proportions of this 
tower, one of the most lovely minarets I had ever 
seen, and I have seen many ! The guide-book calls 
it of ' Turkish form/ It was built in 1435. Was it 
designed by an architect who had been to Broussa ? 
For Constantinople was then Byzantium and ruled by a 
Byzantine emperor, as at that time Mohammed II 
had not yet conquered Constantine Paleologus and 
raised the crescent upon the dome of Saint-Sophia. 

Following the steps of these Moslem invaders we 
started up the stairs under immense gateways, and 
proceeded undaunted along steep paths bounded by 
rock and precipice. For part of the way I sat in a 



172 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

wooden arm-chair tied to poles under which six men 
simply staggered. Query : Are Hindus physically less 
strong than Europeans? Does a diet consisting 
almost exclusively of vegetables weaken their powers 
of endurance? I weigh only about 135 Ibs., the 
chair and poles could not have weighed much more 
than another 50 Ibs., yet after fifty steps or so, six 
good-sized men, young and apparently sound, 
stumbled and panted and showed every sign of 
fatigue. And at Agra I noticed that my chauffeur 
brought a youth with him, and to start the car both 
of them wrestled together with the crank, apparently 
too weak to turn it separately. Poor fellows 1 I soon 
got out of my chair, feeling very unsafe and quite 
sorry for my bearers, and finished the ascent on foot. 

The view became more and more lovely, the steep 
fall of the rocky walls was really fine. The path was 
cleverly hewn out of the rock itself and we mounted 
through tunnels and up stairs, by false openings and 
over deep artificial ditches where water must have 
flowed long ago. At one spot they pointed out ledges 
on which a huge iron shutter, 20 feet long, used to 
fit ; this was heated until it was red hot, so that the 
only ingress to the fort was defended by fire as well 
as by water. 

At length the summit was reached and the vast 
horizon swung its immeasurable circle at our feet. 
Below us in the jungle, where Daulatabad once 
flourished, only broken walls remained with crumbling 
mosques and tombs to mark its extent. And beyond 
lay the plains, the far plains of India. 

Nowhere else does the land seem so to yearn to- 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 17) 

wards illimitable distances, nowhere do the restless 
outlines of the earth seem so to sink to a pale edge on 
a remote horkon that one imagines it a far-off sea 
where, like a lighthouse tower, the white minaret of 
Aurangabad, nearly twenty miles away, shines at the 
foot of a blue cliff. The sky was a pale infinity where 
a wisp of cloud floated derelict, white and rose, to 
burn crimson and at last turn ashen grey. 

We had climbed to the highest tower of towers ; 
upon a parapet close beneath us crouched an immense 
cannon looking out towards the south-east. It is 
said that after everyone had failed to raise the monster 
to such a height, a European artilleryman was called 
in to perform the engineering feat of placing this gun 
(called the Creator of Tempests) in its present position. 

Before undertaking the task the foreigner demanded 
that as the reward of his success the Great Moghul 
should grant his oft-refused petition to be allowed 
to return to his own country. The gun is still there, 
but history does not tell us whether the unhappy 
gunner ever saw his home again. 

We were decorated with the most beautiful jasmine 
and tinselled garlands and had tea, cake and sweets 
under the arched recesses of an airy pavilion which 
hung over the precipice just below the summit of the 
fortress. This pavilion was purely Arabic in style, 
almost the replica of a Moorish building : three long, 
shallow rooms about three sides of a court : which 
shows it to be pre-Moghul. Probably, I imagine, of 
the Tughlak period. 

Leaving the last glow of warm sunset on the height, 
we stumbled down as best we could in the fast gather- 



174 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

ing darkness, our footsteps illumined by lanterns in 
the valley. 

I was quite tired the next morning, having been 
awakened early by some incredibly noisy sparrows, 
which had found a comfortable night-perch inside 
my room and had started an angry argument almost 
before dawn. All rooms in India are very high and, 
besides the customary windows, are usually ventilated 
by square apertures in the walls near the ceiling, some- 
times opening into other rooms. These apertures are 
hardly ever curtained and the sunlight and the birds 
used to enter too early for my comfort. I occasionally 
slept with my hand over my eyes like peasants in the 
summer fields. 

However, determined to see everything possible, 
when Mrs. Russell proposed taking me to the caves of 
Ellora, I gladly consented and we plunged into a 
furnace of heat at 10.30 rattling through the quiver- 
ing air in an Overland (or a Ford I noticed nothing 
but American motors in India). We descended the hill 
upon which the Nizam's guest-house is situated and 
turned into the valley under the cliff-like banks below 
which lie the caves and temples of Ellora. 

Through the usual park-like scene we drove as far 
as the farthest cave. Although their style is purely 
Hindu, the Jain rock-temples, which these are called, 
reminded me, of all surprising art, of French Second 
Empire ! Particularly in decoration and in the 
pseudo-renaissance elaboration of which Napoleon 
the Third was so fond. They were large artificial 
caverns, hollowed out into great square chambers ; a 
method facilitated by the horizontal strata in the 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 175 

formation of the rocks which presumably made the 
levelling of floor and flattening of ceiling compara- 
tively easy. Moreover, the quality of the reddish sand- 
stone found along these cliffs lent itself temptingly to 
the fanciful chisel of the artists of the eighth to the 
thirteenth centuries A.D. 

You usually find an immense square-cut opening as 
broad and high as the cave itself, the lintel or upper 
lip of which is apparently supported on pillars left in 
the shape of square uprights and carved in the living 
rock. (Query : Why ' living ', any more when in the 
rock-bed than when detached ? A curious but 
descriptive term.) 

On entering you see the walls smoothed straight ; 
the ceilings are level and niches are hewn in the end 
and sides of the subterranean hall. Colonnades help 
to support the immense weight of rock and earth 
above, and oddly raised ridges are sometimes left to 
run along the floor from column to column. 

Again, carved from the living rock, Buddhistic 
figures emerge which are perhaps more restrained in 
style and less influenced by the Hindu exuberance 
than the true Buddhist type, but evidently the Jain 
forms of art follow those of the later doctrine very 
closely. The representations of the Holy Jain Prophet 
or Mahavira are at times difficult to differentiate from 
those of Gautama the Buddha. 

Taught by the followers of Mahavira who was 
born several years before Buddha the Jain religion 
originated as a spiritual revolt, similar to Buddhism, 
from the crudely materialistic forms to which 
Brahmanism had declined. The founder of this sect, 



Ij6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

whose private name was Vardhamana, was also called 
Nattaputta by the rival Buddhist order. It is a be- 
wildering and almost universal habit among Indians 
to call their already multitudinous gods by several 
different names, as also their vehicles (or symbols), 
their manifestations and avatars (or rebirths). Maha- 
vira was born about 599 B.C., and after teaching and 
establishing an ascetic system, died in 5 27 B.C. Jainism 
is a compromise between Brahmanism and Buddhism, 
but never took hold of the native mind and heart, 
whereas the Brahmins were finally compelled to 
incorporate Buddhism in their own system, and 
accept Buddha as the Ninth Avatar of Vishnu or 
Brahma. Thus did the High Priests direct the currents 
of popular belief to their own ends. 

In their architectural expression the Jains are far 
more reserved and elegant than the Hindus, and the 
beautiful and graceful spires which rise above the 
porches preceding their temples are easily distinguish- 
able from the coarser and more exuberant Hindu 
work. In these rock-temples, however, the Jains 
appear to have fallen into the errors of the Hindu 
style, and the over-elaboration of detail weakens the 
lines of apparent construction and is rather dis- 
pleasing. Nor could one approve the curious use of 
a basket of flowers with overhanging creepers as a 
species of capital (hardly ever placed at the top of the 
column, be it noted), nor regard as successful the 
device of carving necklaces of beads around the 
pillars as an adornment. But the delicacy of the work, 
the ingenuity of the forms, the lively treatment of leaf 
and volute are undoubtedly remarkable, and the effect 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 177 

of the interior of one of these chiselled caverns, with 
dim remains of painting on ceiling and side-aisle, gives 
one a strange impression of secret luxury and festival, 
an intimate welcome almost of polite worldliness, in 
strong contrast with the voluptuous terror suggested 
by the Hindu cave-temple No. 29 which we next saw. 

This temple is really magnificent. The modern 
dramatist and his scenic artist should come here and 
receive inspiration (as did Pavlova, I believe). They 
should use the design of this Hindu cavern as the 
setting for a mighty conflict of soul with flesh I 

The vast size of this rock-temple is really imposing ; 
its splendid proportions are emphasized by four rows 
of soaring columns and two side-aisles ; the porch and 
entrance-steps guarded by conventionalized lions are 
also very striking. It dates from the latter half of the 
seventh century (soon after the birth of Mohamme- 
danism in Asia and Europe) and recalls the cave of 
Elephanta which, however, it pre-dated. It is more 
beautiful than the one in the harbour of Bombay, in 
the first place because it is deeper and more lofty, and 
in the second place the lighting is beyond words 
beautiful and seems to have a mystery all its own, The 
principal rays fall from the immense opening and wide 
shadowed terrace by which one enters, but on either 
hand, within the vast cavern, great shafts of light 
appear ; those on the right-hand glow with gold and 
the fire of sunlight, those on the left shine like silver 
which even at mid-day seems to suggest the chill rays 
of the moon. The one is the northern, the other the 
southern daylight. It is strangely dramatic. 

Beyond the moonlight opening is a low terrace 



178 LAND OF THE GOlD MOHUR 

overhung by the towering rocks which it must have 
taken years to break through ; it is reached by steps 
hewn in the stone itself, flanked by crouching lions, 
and in the midst is a large tank filled with water. 
Perhaps it served as a bathing place for the sacred 
crocodiles or preserved the precious water when all 
else was dry. 

The opposite opening leads to a flight of steps and 
a rocky chasm lighted from above and pierced by a 
portal commanding further steps. We were told that 
the priests in procession entered the temple from this 
sunlit gorge, behind and beyond them the precipice 
and the blue of the far-away plains. (* Sitaka Nahain * 
the guide-book calls this cave cave No. 29 was its 
name at Ellora.) The gigantic carved panels are as 
decorative as those at Elephanta, very crowded in 
high relief, and very gay ; they represent Siva in a 
merry mood, his wedding celebrations being the theme 
of several of the reliefs. But they lack dignity and 
restraint, in fact the sensual note is too insistent and 
one misses the magnificent solemnity of the great 
carved Trimurti at Elephanta. As a place of prayer 
and supplication it is inferior as a setting to a 
religious festival it is perfect. 

I must try to recall my impression of the far-famed 
Kailasa temple, although I do not know exactly how 
to describe it. It is neither architecture, nor carpentry, 
nor sculpture, but an extraordinary mixture of all 
three done in living stone. For as the patient China- 
man twists and turns his knife in the soft ivory, so did 
the Indian workman in the eighth century of our era 
twist and turn his chisel in the hillside. Only instead 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 179 

of an elephant's tusk he chose a mountain. Instead of 
a toy ball or a basket he carved an immense temple. 
This tour de force is not a structure ; it is anything but 
structural ; not a building, it was not built ; not an 
erection, for it was not placed in the great ravine, 
which is also the handiwork of man, not of nature. 
The bluff itself was hacked out into great channels a 
hundred feet deep, leaving two main blocks in their 
midst, and these in turn were hewn out and carved 
into the Kailasa temple and a chapel for the god's 
vehicle, or Nandi (the Bull), to stand before it. Two 
immense stone elephants guard the entrance to the 
courts, two stone fire-towers rise in the stagnant air, 
galleries surround the strange group whilst stairs and 
arcades are carved into the sides of the cliffs. It is all 
elaborate in the extreme. 

The actual temple is three stories high with a hall 
and shrines in each, and upon the roof are numberless 
smaller shrines with traces of crude, thick paint still 
to be seen on the rough stone surfaces, daubed there 
about a century ago and now peeling away. (So the 
English are not the only people who thought of 
covering sculptural details in paint.) The roof itself 
is almost as lavishly decorated as the base, and pur- 
posely so, for one usually approaches the temple from 
the hilltop and gazes down upon it embedded in the 
hollowed rock beneath : a valley indeed and made 
by hands. 

The finest feature about the Kailasa is the great 
frieze round its base. A frieze of sculptured elephants 
and monsters, their heads turned outwards, their 
trunks and tusks at a flourish, they stand side by side 



180 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

in serried ranks carrying upon their mighty backs the 
whole weight of storey, chapel and pinnacle. 

I was once again struck by the oddly modern, 
almost Second Empire, atmosphere of the upper 
chambers of this Indian fantasy ; I could not shake off 
the haunting shadow of Napoleon the Third. And 
the surprising ' upper-floor ' sensation I Was not the 
art of building upper-floors almost unknown at that 
period ? Even in Greece and Rome the principal 
apartments were nearly all on the ground-floor sur- 
rounding court and atrium. Many of the designs also 
reproduced a ludicrously modern effect. One of the 
shrines in the great court, on my right as I went out, 
was decorated by female guardians leaning with 
nonchalance on one hip, whose tiny waists and 
elaborate high coiffures were absolutely astonishing. 
In other places I was amazed at curves and flourishes 
in the carving pure rococo in style. Is there nothing 
new under the sun ? How did French art produce the 
same type of ornamentation a thousand years after- 
wards in the time of Louis XV ? It could have been 
no plagiarism, as no envoy of the French monarch 
saw these caves, hidden and lost as they were for 
centuries. 

By the time that these temples were built the ascetic 
and spiritual reform of Gautama the Buddha had 
nearly spent itself, his religion was becoming absorbed 
into the vast Hindu cult of Brahma and the ignorant 
millions had sunk into the pathetic idolatry which 
the priesthood still encourages to-day. 

All the Buddhist shrines I visited were bare of 
devotees : Sanchi, Sarnath, Ellora and Ajanta. Nor 







CAPITAL OF ASOKA LAT (OR PILLAR), SARNATH 



Face p. 181 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD igl 

did I hear of his image being worshipped in any place. 
Although admitted to the Hindu Pantheon as the 
Ninth Avatar (or rebirth) of Vishnu, Buddha receives 
no worship as do Brahma, Siva or Vishnu in countless 
temples in India. It is to be noted, however, that these, 
the great gods of the Hindu religion, are usually 
adored under other names or through their symbols 
or vehicles. It was often under the semblance of 
Kali (or Durga) or even Ganesh that Siva was prayed 
to, or through the sacred Bull or holy Lingam that he 
was venerated. The modern, unlike the ancient, 
Hindu seems to shrink from the representation of his 
god in person. 

Melted and drooping with the heat, which by this 
time seemed to rise from the ground like an invisible 
flame, we were glad to reach the cool halls of Rauza 
guest-house and rest after luncheon. 

In the afternoon, quite undaunted, the Resident and 
most of his friends went off on long walks ; some of the 
party, however, took me to see the Buddhist caves in 
the nearer part of the cliff. It is interesting to note 
that the Jain and Hindu caves are all close to one 
another, then come the Brahmanistic temples of 
Kailasa and others, and lastly the Buddhistic caverns. 

Here the dignity and sobriety of treatment were in 
singular contrast to the sensuous exuberance shown in 
the temples which I had seen with Mrs. Russell in the 
morning ; especially in the so-called Carpenter's cave 
(a cbaitya or chapel-cave). But for the large figure of 
the Buddha at the far end of the chapel with the ' nine 
umbrellas ' above his head, I might have thought 
myself in a Christian place of worship. Long and 



182 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

narrow, a row of pillars runs on either side towards 
the apse, forming aisles and a central nave. The apse 
is semi-circular and most remarkable ; the ceiling is 
carved to represent curved beams neatly cut and 
purporting to support a round, arched roof or barrel 
vault. All hollowed out of the rock itself! It is 
lighted by an immense horse-shoe opening above the 
entrance door and is approached by a court and a 
verandah. The frieze of carved panels which deco- 
rates the colonnade is very curious, the whole effect 
singularly reverent and solemn. 

The other caves are less interesting ; they are 
square in shape and filled with innumerable small 
figures of the Buddha in monotonous repetition, 
besides which another statue of the Buddha seated and 
often of gigantic size is usually to be found at the end 
opposite the opening in the fajade. This opening is 
supported by square pillars which are roughly deco- 
rated with carvings and possess curious square 
capitals, sometimes very uneven in size and frequently 
different in shape, although always regularly distri- 
buted. Litanies of the god appear as a favourite 
device, /'.*. rows of tiny figures of the seated Buddha 
by the hundred in low relief. This is also a frequent 
Jain decoration. 

I noticed that the Gupta Buddhas are all more 
beautiful than those of a later date ; in the figures of 
this earlier period the Buddha is often represented 
standing and wrapped in a floating transparent gar- 
ment with the flat, sharp folds characteristic of the 
classic style. When the Hellenistic impulse wanes he 
is shown in a sitting posture with crossed legs and 



ELLORA AND DAULATABAD 183 

becomes more gross and clumsy as the Hindu influence 
grows stronger, although the modern representations 
of the god present a more spiritual aspect on the 
whole. 

At Sarnath I saw a very fine standing figure, and at 
Sanchi the most beautiful, slender, seated figure of 
Buddha that I have ever seen. The latter is opposite 
one of the wonderful torana (or gates) and contem- 
plates you benignly as you enter. 

i%tb December. This evening, after watching the 
blue of the sky turn to violet and the rose to gold, the 
Resident and his party (who had been most forbearing 
to the strange female thrust into their company) left 
for Hyderabad, where Mrs. Russell very hospitably 
asked me to visit them at the Residency ; but alas, 
much to my regret I had to decline my time in India 
was too short. So I remained alone in the care of 
Sir Mohammed Raza, His Exalted Highness the 
Nizam's Tulukdar of Aurangabad. 

I made myself the present of a perfectly quiet 
morning only in the afternoon did I rouse myself 
at the thought of seeing the temple-cave of Siva once 
more. It was wonderful in the evening light, more 
mysterious and more remote ; I also looked for the 
last time at the strange monster of the Kailasa coiled 
in its rocky bed, and turned away realizing that I had 
lived days of magic. 



AJANTA 

December. I start for Ajanta. An undertaking 
indeed, but made possible by the kindness of the 
Viceroy, H.E.H. The Nizam, the Resident, Mr. Russell, 
and of Sir Mohammed Raza (without whose care and 
foresight I could never have reached the goal of my 
desire). At i p.m. we are off to the Junction of 
Manmad, and from thence to Jalgaon, where at about 
9.30 that night my maid and I find a motor-car waiting 
for us, but as this conveyance can only hold four 
persons (the guide, the chauffeur and ourselves), poor 
Samji must perforce be left behind. He received the 
news with smiles and bows, and what he lived in or on 
during those three days, abandoned by his employer, 
a stranger in a strange land, I do not know. But as he 
never charged me a penny I suppose air 1 

And what air 1 Warm, dry and exhilarating. So 
full of mystery that it touched me like a caress as we 
rushed through the night. The stars hung immense 
above us those of Orion a challenge, Sirius flashing 
fire, and lower in the fathomless depths swung 
Canopus glittering in his golden armour. Every now 
and then as we tore southwards the wind would 
suddenly chill, and we would pass through a damp 
belt near a stream, to emerge again into the warm 
night. Several times wild animals darted across the 
shaft of light we projected in front of us, and once a 



l86 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

gazelle stood within it, staring amazed, then in terror 
turned and fled along the ribbon of brilliance unrolling 
before it. It leapt faster and faster, afraid to leave the 
danger of the known radiance to plunge into the 
terror of the unknown darkness, until I told them to 
stop the car and put out the light or we should have 
crushed the lovely creature. It immediately darted 
aside and vanished into the night. 

At length, at about midnight we arrived, and so 
delicious was the breath of the Indian night that even 
at that late hour and after the long day's journey I 
scarcely felt tired. 

Fardapur, our village, was thirty-six miles from 
Jalgaon (Jalgaon with its mysterious streets, shadowy 
avenues, and leaping fires, like those of a bivouac by 
the roadside, will always remain in my memory as 
a city of night). Close to it stood the guest-house of 
the Nizam; a low building, arched and white, it 
gleamed in the dazzle of our head-lights as I tumbled 
out and waited until the oil-lamps should be lit and 
the rooms unlocked. 

I noted an odd custom in India ; only empty rooms 
are locked. No one thinks of locking himself in, 
night or day. It seemed that throughout my entire 
journey my principal defence from surprise, robbery, 
or death by tiger's fang, was a mosquito-net. That is 
about all the protection I found at Ajanta. 

No blankets, no sheets, no towels, but luckily a net ! 
No matter. There were iron bedsteads with flat 
mattresses and pillows, and we had towels with us ; so 
I rolled myself in my blue satin quilt and slept pro- 
foundly, lulled by the breeze whispering across the 



AJANTA 187 

uplands dry with the long sunny days, golden in the 
drought. 

The next morning (3ist December) I met Seyyid 
Achmed, the young Hindu by race and Moslem by 
faith who is the Curator of the caves. He showed me 
some drawings and books about Ajanta, and when the 
heat had abated and the sun's rays were horizontal, so 
that they would better illuminate the caves, we 
started off again in the motor over a rough, twisting 
road, through rolling grass-lands towards a blue line 
of hills which rose in the south-east. We passed 
cultivated fields and a few huts, but no houses ; there 
is wild jungle in this part of Hyderabad, and tigers and 
panthers are seen and shot. After driving about three 
or four miles and fording a stream, shallow in the dry 
season, the motor could go no farther, and a quaint 
ox-cart, with creaking wheels and shaded by a canopy, 
took me up a deep ravine under the strange foliage of 
the season. Most trees were still fresh and green, 
others were quite bare, whilst the under-brush, 
yellow and dry with a reddish glare on it, was spread 
like a tiger's skin on the hillside opposite the cliffs 
we were nearing. 

We stopped, and I skipped down from my odd 
conveyance (in which I had had to sit cross-legged) 
and started climbing up a steep incline along a narrow 
path sign-posts stood here and there to guide me 
higher and higher, with the rocky bed of the Warora 
far below. The scene was one of real beauty. The 
waters had worn the rock away until it had become a 
deep gorge, tall trees grew near the stream, but the 
cliffs soared above them and, in a curve so deep that 



188 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

it formed a horse-shoe, I suddenly saw, hollowed out 
of the face of the cliff, curious square openings, 
chiselled and excavated by the Buddhist monks 
centuries ago : the famous rock-temples of Ajanta. 

The most ancient of these excavations, which are 
named viharas (monastic dwellings and worshipping- 
halls), date from about the second century before 
Christ, not long after the reign of the great King 
Asoka (272-231 B.C.), who spread the cult of Buddha 
throughout Northern India about a hundred years 
after the invasion of the Great Alexander. The later 
caves date from about 600 A.D., and it is in these that 
one finds, alas, in a very dilapidated state, the remark- 
able wall-paintings to which Ajanta owes its fame. 

For centuries these caves were forgotten, lost, 
unknown. For hundreds of years the tiger and the 
pestilential bat made their lair within these sacred 
temples, and damp and animal filth poisoned the 
atmosphere. Even now precautions have to be taken : 
wooden frames for doors and windows covered with 
wire-netting prevent the incursion of bat, beast or 
bee ; the paintings are carefully preserved, and the 
vanishing lines of beauty copied with minute and 
exhausting labour by the clever artists to whom this 
work has been entrusted. The principal worker, the 
Curator (who spoke very good English), was my 
guide, and never had I realized how illuminating a 
really intelligent cicerone could be. One usually has 
the hopeless feeling of knowing more than the man 
himself when he rolls out the glaringly obvious : 
" Portrait of Charles the First by Van Dyck, Wood- 
carving by Grinling Gibbons/* etc. But here the 




EXTERIOR OF BUDDHIST CAVE TEMPLE, AJANTA 




$i& w 

t/3 



w 



AJANTA 189 

wall-paintings are so old, the lines so faint, and the 
legends they depict so unfamiliar to those who are not 
students of Buddhism and know the Jataka stories by 
heart, that from shadowy depths strange marvels were 
evoked by Seyyid Achmed's incantations, and waver- 
ing against the fabulous background of strange 
verdure, abrupt rocks, or gay, flimsy architecture 
emerged the flowing, vivacious tale of the Buddha, as 
prince and human being. A Rajah, not a god. And 
yet a Rajah with divine attributes and unexpected 
metamorphoses, as when, in the figure of a magnificent 
white six-tusked elephant he dies to appease another's 
jealousy ; or, as a large and nimble ape saves the lives 
of countless brother-apes by swinging his body 
across an abyss over which the monkeys, menaced by 
danger, flee for refuge, breaking his devoted back in 
the process. You also see him as a king, seated in his 
house upon wide cushions under a canopy upheld by 
slender colonnettes, holding serious converse with 
his queen and her attendant ladies. Yet again he is 
depicted as receiving the tonsure on becoming a 
monk, so I was told by my guide, thinking sadly of 
his sorrowing wife perhaps, whose figure is near by 
on the dim wall his young wife dying for love of 
him, her slender brown body curved in languid 
misery, her head drooping like that of a faint flower. 
About her the waiting maids cluster, showing 
restrained and courteous anxiety. 

One is struck by the important and honourable role 
assigned to woman in these remarkable paintings. 
She is evidently the companion, the adviser, the 
consoler and delight, always in an honoured position. 



190 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Even in the street-scenes she is shown as unveiled, 
and though the Indian women of those days appear 
to have been clad in the minimum of garments, and 
the curves of hip and especially of breast are much 
accentuated, an almost classical purity emanates from 
the decorous grace of these brilliant creatures, allied 
though it is to a most un-Grecian luxury of adornment. 
For, where a girl will have little but a gauzy strip 
drawn close about the hips and tied together in 
loose folds in front, she will be weighted down with 
jewels, and her hair most exquisitely and elaborately 
dressed, twined with pearls, twisted with turban 
strands. 

The Buddha, too (or is it a delineation of a future 
Buddha, a Bodhisattva ?), is positively clothed in gems, 
the setting of which must have been a marvel I Tiaras, 
encrusted with gems and glittering with gold, the 
intricate design of which would confuse a Carrier, bind 
the brow of the god ; strand upon strand of pearls are 
wound about his neck, and over his shoulders and 
about his waist fall rivers of precious stones. 

Although bracelets clasp the arms, the hands seem 
free of rings. Long thin hands, slender and pliable, 
marvellous fingers, with tips almost curling back in 
extreme sensitiveness, gracefully expressive as they 
hold a lotus flower or a sacred symbol with delicate 
precision. 

It is indeed startling to reflect that these wall-pictures 
were painted at a period when elsewhere in the world 
such art had apparently disappeared. Decadent Rome 
in the fifth and sixth centuries had some decorative 
frescoes ; Byzantium her archaic, stern mosaics ; 



AJANTA 191 

Central Asia her strange Buddhistic wall-paintings ; 
inspired, no doubt, by the same cult and perhaps 
imported by the same artists or their forbears of 
Ajanta. But where else were such grace, naturalness, 
and variety to be found ? Where such action, such 
life ? And such artistic skill ? 

The medium, too, is strangely restricted, only five 
different colours are used, and yet what varied har- 
monies of glow and tone ! At every moment one 
stops in delighted surprise over some fragment : the 
profil-perdu of a head, the turn of a long throat, the 
glow on a brown cheek. 

It is curious to note all lack of false pride in depicting 
brown people, for those of lighter skin were admittedly 
more admired by their darker brethren and the artists 
themselves were probably dark-skinned. The Buddha 
is usually a pale copper-colour, in some groups one 
or two of the attendants are very dark, but very few 
negroid types are seen. The Aryan contour of face 
predominates, although the nostrils are slightly wider, 
the nose more aquiline and the lips distinctly fuller 
than in the Caucasian face. The Brahmans are clearly 
differentiated and were apparently much whiter in 
colouring, which leads one to suppose that they were 
the descendants of a northern, probably a north- 
western, race, perhaps more intelligent and virile, 
therefore able to exercise priestly power over the 
darker, more primitive, indigenous inhabitants. Cli- 
mate is at the foundation of most racial movements ; 
the Indians, weakened by their hot, damp seasons, 
seem always to fall under the influence of hardier 
races from colder lands, who in time soften unless 



192 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

strengthened by new recruits, and succumb in their 
turn. Reflect upon the plains of Delhi. 

These artists, monks though they are called, could 
not have been ascetics, for no man who has not loved 
woman could draw and define the feminine at Ajanta 
with such reverent care. 

They seem to rely on line as a foundation for their 
work. The figures, the animals, and the scenery are 
carefully drawn, every limb and especially the leaves 
of their oft-repeated forest scenes are delicately de- 
tailed. There are none of the modern mass effects 
which ignore line or curve, and within the outline 
everything is skilfully shaded to produce a certain 
modelling. 

Against all the tenets of our contemporary art ? 
And yet what eloquence what effect ? After fifteen 
hundred years the eye brightens and the heart thrills 
with the inspiration which guided those lines so 
long ago. 

It is true that the work is unequal : the drawing is 
sometimes very childlike, the perspective reminiscent 
of the Chinese scenes one observes on a Coromandel 
screen. The principal figure appears over and over 
again, acting the story as in a broken film. The 
drawing of the feet does not compare with that of the 
hands ; some of the figures are life-size, others vague, 
hurrying little shadows, carrying banners, riding 
wretched little horses, unnatural-looking camels, or 
again very fine and well-drawn elephants in majestic 
motion. 

At times the modelling of the figures is astonishingly 
beautiful ; at others the work is very thin and flat. 




CAVE PAINTTN'c;, A.IANTA 

(GAUTAMA THE BUDDHA AS JMMNCE) 



Face p. 102 




BODHISATTVA (OR PREDESTINED BUDDHA) 

(SEE P. loo) 



AJANTA 193 

The Chinese influence, if I may venture to call it so, 
is very striking. Especially in some of the odd little 
square spaces on the vibara ceilings, supposed no doubt 
to be between rafters stone coffers in fact, an example 
of the straining after wooden construction apparently 
felt by all early workers in stone. In these squares are 
painted little groups of dwarfs or children playing, 
arrangements of flowers and birds, ducks, lotus, deer, 
strange creatures half-bird, half-human, such as an 
artist from the Celestial Empire might have painted 
on rice-paper only yesterday. The brilliant China 
blue. The living green. The marvellous vitality and 
humour of the tumbling dwarfs must be seen to be 
realized. These monks must have spent hours musing 
upon a lotus-bud, the curve of a duck's wing or a 
gamin's grin 1 

These warm colours and gay frescoes line the walls 
of large halls, monastic meeting-places or dwellings 
all hollowed out of the stony hillside. The largest 
of these caves, measuring eighty-nine feet square, is 
supported by twenty-eight pillars. They are some- 
times surrounded by small window-less cells, a few of 
which have a couch hollowed out of the rocky wall. 
They are preceded by a verandah usually supported 
on pillars, and their interior, lighted on one side only 
through the windows and doors, is brilliantly illumi- 
nated when the sun casts his level rays from the 
western sky, but at other times is in half darkness ; 
recourse must have been had to some kind of artificial 
lighting I wondered what ; and noticed no such 
device depicted in any of the paintings. 

The columns, pillars, doors, and windows are all 



194 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

elaborately carved, delicately chiselled with ingenious 
designs : the twisting acanthus leaf or a leaf recalling 
it and jewelled necklace hanging over stony fern and 
flower. The pillars in particular are very unusual; 
some of them are round and fluted, but not through 
their entire height ; here and there a round, pillow-like 
capital reposes on a circular shaft merging into a 
square base and an elaborately decorated capital 
often has a roughly hewn support. I noticed one 
unfortunate peculiarity, namely, that the over-elaborate 
basket or fluted-vase and leaf decoration, which would 
have made an effective capital, was usually carved at 
two-thirds of the height of the pillar, the line of 
support being thus too broken for the satisfaction of 
the eye. The balance also is not always true (there are 
not the same penalties to pay in stone-carving as there 
are in sto&e-bui/ding), and the doorways, cut as they all 
are out of the rock in situ, are slightly thick and 
awkward, the panels have very heavy mouldings and 
the lintels and thresholds are not perfect in line. 
Both here and at Ellora stairs and steps are painfully 
steep and high ; the rippling shallows of the Renais- 
sance stairways seem to have been an inspiration of 
late Italian art. Even in the comparatively modern 
Moghul monuments, which post-date the sixteenth- 
century palazsi, the steps need young and agile limbs 
to climb them without effort. 

The exterior ornamentation of these caves is not 
as elaborate as on those at Ellora, where the spaces 
tempted the artists to form courts peopled with carved 
guardian-beasts. At the Ajanta caves you almost 
overhang the valley far below, and a narrow parapet, 



AJANTA 195 

sometimes a mere stretch of wire, keeps one from a 
false step into the depths. A few, however, of the 
chaityas (chapels proper) have interesting fa9ades, and 
above the entrance-doors huge open arches give light 
to the lofty interior and illumine the inscrutable smile 
of the cross-legged god within. 

Chattya Cave No. 9 has an especially fine front and 
the architect evidently attempted to produce a classical 
work ; straight columns, square lintels, and panels 
in high and low relief conduce to this effect. In fact, 
in all this early Buddhist art there seems to be a very 
obvious straining after a dimly apprehended ideal. 
The artist conceived but could not achieve. He 
appears to have been torn in conflicting directions and, 
unfortunately, missed the perfection of true art, which 
is to produce beauty appropriate only to the medium 
in which it is worked. A cavern hewn out of living 
rock, arched and ribbed to simulate wooden beams 
and rafters, is not true art, neither is the device of 
chiselling a stone cliff into a semblance of masonry. 

Did not the Brahmanical Hindu grasp the true 
beauty of the rock-temple where the Buddhist failed ? 
The former does not as often pretend to carpentry, 
masonry, or tapestry, but boldly hews out the sides 
of the great hills and with vigorous stroke brings to 
life in the naked rock rough and almost elemental 
figures. He breaks open lofty entrances for light 
and air, and spaces the mighty supporting pillars 
with true vision : i.e. far too distant one from another 
for any practical architectural building. The whole 
conception is sincere and satisfying. 

An interesting query occurs to me. Are there any 



196 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

fine Brahmin cave-temples to be found anterior to the 
earliest Buddhist ones at Ajanta ? I believe not, as 
nothing as early as 250 B.C. has, as far as I know, yet 
been discovered. In fact, it looks as though the 
Buddhists had inaugurated these cave-dwellings and 
places of worship, the models of which were perhaps 
the Egyptian caves seen by Buddhist pilgrims who 
wandered far, teaching and learning. Before their 
period of influence, and the invasion of the civilizing 
Greeks, we are told that only wooden or matting-and- 
earth structures were known in India, and these 
Buddhist temples all point to an echo of structural 
knowledge, especially the chaityas of the sixth and 
seventh centuries. 

As we still revet our steel arches with granite to 
look like solid stone, so these Indians carved their 
mountain-sides to imitate first wood and then actual 
masonry. It would otherwise have been pleasing to 
fancy that these caves were the last examples of an 
ancient and almost prehistoric tradition and belonged 
to a period when the most advanced of mankind lived 
in caverns ; that these splendid temples cut out of the 
very heart of the earth were the echoes of the crowning 
achievement of a remote age before the dawn of history. 

But to return to the fast darkening valley and my 
now tired self. We descended a steep stairway in the 
side of the hill, leaving the terraces, narrow and of 
unequal height, above us in the failing light and, 
following the stony bed of the almost dry stream 
along a neatly gravelled path, reached our conveyances 
under the green of the winter trees and so back to the 
guest-house. 



AJANTA 197 

New Year's Day, Another beautiful day 1 When 
I first reached India I used to exclaim at the glory of 
the days. Noticing a look of surprise on the faces of 
my friends I realized that my remark was quite super- 
fluous. None the less, I revel in the high, blue 
heavens, the rush of warm, dry wind, the tiny scudding 
clouds like the lost feathers of a Devi's wings and the 
curiously wet flutter of the pipal tree, of which the 
greenand silver foliage rustles like the falling of a rivulet. 

It appears that I missed meeting a tiger yesterday 
evening. The Curator informed me of the fact, 
reported to him by his men. 

" A tiger 1 " I exclaimed, " and we missed him ? 
What a pity 1 " 

Seyyid Achmed looked shocked at my levity. " But 
a tiger," he murmured, " is not a pleasant creature 
to meet." 

" If he had appeared," I replied, " and not fled at 
the sight of us, I should have opened and shut my 
parasol at him suddenly. That would have frightened 
him away I " 

But it was not to be, in spite of my lingering and 
looking about the spot where the king of the jungle 
was said to have shown his gold and striped sides. 
(It was probably only a panther after all 1) 

For we returned the next afternoon, and again I 
lingered in the spacious caverns, again I listened to 
tales of the Jataka, again I was struck by the refinement 
of the paintings, so free from all the grossness and sen- 
suality of later Hindu art. A faint, very faint echo from 
Greece breathes from the painted shadows of the 
half-forgotten god. 



198 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

No doubt many modernists would decry them as too 
delicate, too tender, too detailed. To wit, the meti- 
culous outlining of palm leaves, lotus, and mango. 
And yet there is originality in their treatment, a certain 
stylization which points to mastery. The very fine 
conventional design which one sees in sixteenth- 
century Italian damasks is, I feel certain, derived from 
an Indian source. It suggests a monstrous flower in 
the uniform decoration upon many a crimson silk 
and had always puzzled me. Great was my surprise 
upon seeing the very same pattern in several paintings 
at Ajanta. I inquired, and was told it was the leaf 
and fruit of the mango. 

The influence of Indian art on Western design in 
the early and pre-Renaissance days was enormous, 
following the caravan trade-routes from East to West 
across Asia. The Oriental has a sense of decoration 
and of balance in design which the Western artist has 
never surpassed. 

Two figures at Ajanta remain undimmed in my 
memory. At the back of one of the larger caves near 
the shrine : the figures, I was told, of the Holy Rajah 
and his wife. The majesty, grace, and serenity of the 
Buddha is difficult to imagine. (I know of no repre- 
sentation of the Christ, curiously enough, which can 
compare with the serenity of the finest Buddhas.) 
Beside him droops the slender body of a woman with 
a beautiful and thoughtful face ; they are regally 
sumptuous in jewels and head-dress, from both of 
them emanates an indescribably tender grace, almost 
religious in its subtle quality, a very halo of beauty. 

Alas for beauty 1 Time, the enemy, has grievously 



AJANTA 199 

damaged these paintings. The rocks have wept, the 
paint has flaked off, the smoke of peasants' fires and 
the dust of centuries have blackened some of the walls 
irremediably. 

What can still be done to preserve the remaining 
treasures is now being done. The Nizam keeps these 
shrines of art in order. They are guarded and kept 
clean, and in the Curator, Seyyid Achmed, the cause of 
beauty has a strong defender. Bit by bit he is at this 
moment copying every inch of design available. He 
takes transparent paper, applies it to the frescoes and 
retraces those lines which are not entirely effaced ; 
those which cannot actually be traced he restores afresh 
with minute precision and something more. Precision 
is not enough. Race must assert itself ; I believe that 
only an Indian artist can follow the curve and sweep 
of this particular expression of artistic impulse, and 
that his copies alone can have the vitality and grace 
of the original which no European could render. 

Lady Herringham has published a very fine series 
of copies, the work of herself and her coadjutor, of 
the paintings in the Ajanta caves, but it is a very costly 
book. Seyyid Achmed is now preparing a series of 
plates to be published at a more moderate price, as he 
feels that these frescoes should be known by a wider 
circle of people than they are at present. Only the 
most undaunted or the fortunately privileged are able 
to see these marvels and to draw never-ceasing 
inspiration from the fast-fading glow of their ancient 
light. 

And so the ages sweep past and we are as powder 
between the millstones of time. But through the 



200 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

mist of blood and tears there crystallize some eternal 
truths, or so it seems ; the unalterable beauty endures, 
and we still worship faith and tenderness, fidelity and 
dignity as they were worshipped in these and other 
temples long ages ago. Do we not ? Or are these 
faiths outworn and have we turned from them to burn 
incense at very different shrines, infinitely more pagan 
than those at Holy Ajanta ? 

2nd January. Leave at 5 p.m. and motor to Jalgaon 
where we arrive again at night. The city of darkness 
and of red glare. 

How curious are the contrasts in India I Palaces 
lit by dusky fires about which camp ragged men, 
crowding to warm themselves at the glow ; splendid 
metalled roads along which bound wild animals ; 
solemn statues of British Sovereigns with screeching 
parrots clinging to their marble crowns ; homeless 
fakirs tottering along glorious avenues ; and draped 
women huddling in tumble-down bullock-carts shel- 
tered by tattered cotton canopies while Rolls-Royces 
tear by, hooting hoarsely, driven by swarthy chauffeurs 
in turbans. 

Spent the night in the train after receiving at 
Jalgaon a welcoming telegram from the Viceroy's 
Military Secretary. 



DELHI 

anuary. At 7.30 p.m. arrived again at Delhi and 
was met by Captain Gregory-Smith, good-looking 
and very resplendent in readiness for the Viceregal 
dinner. 

On reaching the Viceregal Lodge I was shown into 
a charming sitting-room opening into a vast bedroom 
with a palatial dress-closet and bathroom beyond. 
Here I add that without the poor ' bheastie ' (or lowest 
caste Hindu servant and drudge) these ubiquitous 
bathrooms would be useless. Nearly everywhere the 
hot water for bath and basin is carried to the bathroom 
by this humblest of the humble, but as he is content, 
so you are content and this arrangement works 
without a hitch or a plumber. He is always hovering 
in the background, silent and invisible, and much less 
disturbing than pipes I 

As it was late and I had no time to change my dress 
and join Their Excellencies at dinner, a charming 
little table was laid for me in the sitting-room with 
silver and carnations (just as in a fairy tale), and a 
brown-skinned, beturbaned and scarlet-coated servi- 
tor soon brought me an excellent dinner. (More and 
more like a fairy tale.) 

The enchanting Yvonne Fitzroy, as well as my old 
friend Ralph Burton, and Sir Geoffrey de Mont- 



202 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

morency (the Military Secretary) came in and greeted 
me. Very pleasant. 

I really should have sailed" on the 5th of January ! 
But the temptation to accept Lord and Lady Reading's 
kind invitation to stay with them, and to revisit Delhi 
and its beauties, had proved too much for me, and I 
postponed my departure until the i2th to sail in the 
Kaisar-i-Hind. 

The charming and good-looking * Household ' had 
something to do with my succumbing so weakly. I 
could not have had a more delightful welcome. I was 
particularly appreciative of the hospitality of Lord 
and Lady Reading, and although the latter was far 
from well, they entertained an unending series of 
guests in the most agreeable way. Lady Reading rose 
from her sofa to receive officials and princes to 
undertake long journeys and to undergo fatigues 
which would have exhausted far stronger women. 
Her seconding of Lord Reading was in every way 
entirely unselfish and very valuable to him. 

The Viceroy has a very interesting personality. His 
fine head has a lack of height unusual in one of such 
great mental capacity ; but his shrewd glance, his 
sensitive mouth, his eagle-like features and intellectual 
refinement of mien arrest one immediately. While 
conversing he gives you an impression of deep 
knowledge and of keen judgment, ever balancing the 
two aspects of a question, the conclusion apparently 
drawn from an inner conviction, not wantonly 
exhibited, but nearly always right. Fortunately for 
India he was not a visionary, nor did he plant a riddled 
banner in the last ditch ; on the contrary, his open 



DELHI 203 

mind welcomed expressions of opinion, and he always 
weighed and considered the advice of those worth 
listening to. 

In a difficult period, in a difficult situation, he con- 
trived to uphold the prestige of his great trust to a 
remarkable degree. Both he and Lady Reading 
followed the usual traditions of Viceregal etiquette, in 
which they showed their wisdom. Manners and 
customs are a script that those who run may read 
and, nowadays, we are nearly all running 1 

Almost royal honours are conceded to the Viceroy 
and his wife in fact, except for the omission of 
address in the third person, which in England is barely 
customary, even with a sovereign, all other observ- 
ances are followed. 

At luncheon the day after my arrival we were all 
duly assembled in the large drawing-room awaiting 
Lord Reading's entrance. The circle was formed, the 
aides-de-camp restlessly opening and shutting the 
doors into Lady Reading's sitting-room beyond, but 
some delay was apparent. After a group of men I was 
the woman nearest to the entrance door when at last 
our host came in and shook hands with my neighbours. 
Whereupon I, beaming with appreciation of his 
kindness and of his having asked me to stay with them 
in Delhi, moved forward with outstretched hand, 
expressing my pleasure and gratitude. He took it, but 
did not smile ; he hesitated, and I noted with surprise 
a faint veil of astonishment fall upon his features. I 
turned and looked to my left. There was Miss Fitzroy, 
who stood next to me, sinking into the very crypts 
beneath in a plunging curtesy 1 Followed by Miss 



204 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

Lloyd George, then the other ladies ! Dismay and 
.disgust 1 I had quite forgotten to make my obeisance ! 
It is odd the tricks that memory plays. We had been 
for days together at Calcutta, where even in private 
the observances were strictly adhered to. Why I 
suddenly forgot it all, in the enthusiasm of my arrival, 
I cannot think. But I was mercilessly teased, and 
informed by the rejoicing aides-de-camp and lady-in- 
waiting that guests had been turned out of Viceregal 
Lodge for less I 

I had my lesson, however, and much practice, for 
after dinner, as the ladies left the dining-room, the 
first one to go out had to stop near the door, turn, and 
make a sweeping curtesy to His Excellency. This 
makes one feel self-conscious. As I was the only 
older guest for several days, I thus received my 
punishment and my host smiled upon me once more. 

4th January. Delightful Delhi, where I again lead 
my frivolous hours. The gay presence of Miss Megan 
Lloyd George and Lady Honor Bridgeman adds to the 
fun. Lord Rawlinson stays to luncheon (after a 
Council of State), and to my joy wears the Christmas 
remembrance I had left for him at Calcutta. A gaudy 
silk handkerchief I He pretends he did not know I 
was at Viceregal Lodge I 

Ralph Burton shows me the Lodge ; it is the former 
* Circuit House ' where the Viceroys used to stay 
while on tour. It is now the temporary Viceregal 
Lodge until the New Delhi palace is built. In four 
years ? Or in five ? We all wonder. Lord Reading 
is glad the change will not come in his time, as the 
temporary Lodge is so comfortable. 



DELHI 205 

It is a long, low, white building, perfectly adapted 
to the climate : shadowed by deep-arched verandahs. 
It has very high ceilings and is cooled by the usual 
square openings in the walls of the apartments above 
the verandah roofs. Palms and blazing "poinsettias 
adorn the steps and porches, white columns stand 
sentinel at the entrances, and scarlet figures flash in 
and out, the barefooted native servants of whom there 
seems to be an unending number. 

Within you find a large drawing-room next to the 
small ante-room through which you pass ; a private 
sitting-room for Her Excellency and her bedroom lie 
beyond. The Council Room, with some good pictures, 
is at the further end of the drawing-room, and through 
the vast dining-room you move to reach a vaster ball- 
room, at present much needed for State functions. 

For a wonder it is raining, so we cannot go into 
the gardens, and we pack instead into a motor that I 
may make the acquaintance of the Chandni Chauk, 
which I had no time to drive along before. It is the 
business street of Delhi. The shops there are not as 
tempting as at Agra, but the so-called ' Ivory Palace * 
near the Great Mosque, and the Austrian Schweiger's 
wonderful shop opposite Maiden's Hotel, are very 
alluring (with that of Ganesh Lai at Agra the most 
alluring that I saw in India). Jades, jewels and 
embroideries, all quite exquisite. Indeed this cloudy 
day is all illumined by the emeralds and pearls, pale 
rubies and diamond tassels, some of them fountain-like, 
from the treasure of a dead Rajah. 

5 th January. Luncheon with my agreeable friends 
of Benares, the Blacketts, after which Lady Blackett 



206 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

takes me to visit the eighteenth-century tomb of Saffar 
Jang. It shows the same splendid arrangement of 
gateway, mausoleum, pavilions and water-ways which 
has so struck my imagination in India. It is one of the 
last of the great tombs built in the eighteenth century. 
Green parrots darted and clung to the eaves of the 
little chhatries^ the sun sank in gold and silver, and it 
was dark when we reached the poinsettia-burning 
porch of the Finance Minister to welcome him home 
to tea. 

On Sunday Purana-Kila was the object of our pil- 
grimage. The clouds were drifting and breaking, and 
golden threads with blue shone in the tapestry of the 
sky, so that the immense enclosure within the walls 
and towered gates of the fortress, empty as a shell on 
a wind-dried beach, was magically stained with 
colour. Built by Sher-Shah and Humayun to the 
south of the ancient Hindu capital of Indrapat, it 
is one of the most picturesque of all the ruins outside 
Shah-Jahanabad, one of the seven Delhis, Shah- 
Jahanabad being the sixth, and Raisina, our new 
British Delhi, the seventh. 

The mosque of Sher-Shah which stands within the 
vast enclosure (the latter a wide stretch of grass 
surrounded by a sort of cloister under the fortress 
walls, originally shops, no doubt) is very fine. The 
red sandstone of which it is built is beautifully carved 
and the influence of Hindu thought in the decoration 
and even the construction is very noticeable : in the 
brackets supporting the balconies for instance, as well 
as in the shape of the numberless small domes. This 
group of buildings dates from the earlier half of the 



DELHI 207 

sixteenth century, when Francis I and Charles V 
were strutting about Europe in polished rivalry. 

We went from Purana-Kila to the Dargah (or 
Mohammedan shrine) of Nizam-uddin-Aulia, who 
lived in the thirteenth century and attained the ripe 
age of ninety-two. He appears to have been a very 
powerful Saint, holding his own even in conflicts with 
Tughlak Shah. The first feature which strikes one 
after entering through the low whitewashed gateway 
(shuffling along in dilapidated sandals tied over one's 
shoes) is the very deep tank or reservoir which, so it 
is said, became a grave cause of dispute between 
Saint and Emperor. 

The latter suddenly requisitioned the workmen who 
were, at the Saint's bidding, digging down into the 
depths of the earth to make the water rise and irrigate 
the dry land. The Saint, therefore, caused his work 
to be carried on at night. Oil was used to light their 
labour (perhaps rags soaked in oil tied to iron rods ? 
Such as Bernier describes centuries later). Infuriated, 
the Emperor forbade the sale of oil to the Saint; 
whereupon lo I the water in the tank itself flamed 
alight in the darkness. The labourers, inspired by the 
miracle, toiled on in the holy glare and the tank was 
completed. The Sultan then cursed the miraculous 
waters ; the Saint in turn cursed Tughlakabad. 
" May it be inhabited by none but the homeless and 
the outcast I " (Gujar, a tribe of nomads of low caste). 

The Saint's curse has not lost its effect, as, within 
the ruined walls of the haughty Sultan's city, the beggar 
tribes still pitch their temporary abode ; the tank on 
the other hand still sparkles, reflecting sky and arch 



208 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

in its depths and, at night, the holy waters still gleam 
and glitter as with fire. 

Beyond the tank are courts, and in the midst of one 
of these stands the tent-like mausoleum of the Saint 
himself with its low, painted eaves, its marble lattice 
sides and, within, the lowly tomb, strewn with jasmine 
and rose-leaves. As we approached, the nasal drone 
of the Imam was sighing about the walls and we 
waited until the prayer had ceased so that we, the 
unfaithful, could look at the holy man's last resting- 
place. 

Near by is the tomb of Jehanara Begum, the sister 
of Aurungzebe, whose progress upon mighty ele- 
phants during the imperial visit to Kashmir (in 1660 
or thereabouts) is so delightfully described by Taver- 
nier : how no man half a mile away is allowed on 
pain of death even to look at the elephants, scores of 
which carried the Princess and her ladies ; how the 
huge animals were covered with embroideries and 
carried golden seats with curtained canopies hung 
with bells of silver and followed by eunuchs and slaves 
on foot or on horse. 

Alas for past triumphs 1 Beautiful Jehanara 1 The 
elephant-bells ring no more in the warm twilight, no 
more is the curtain drawn aside for a moment's 
breath of cooler air whilst the rash foreigner hides 
near the road to gaze on young and secret beauty. 
Here you lie, in half-forgotten solitude, the narrow 
marble stone marking the spot where the answer to 
your riddle is left untold. 

Mohammed Shah is also buried near at hand and his 
tomb, encircled by a marvellously delicate enclosure 




LADY HONOR WARD, CAPTAIN BOWES DALY AND LADY LOWTHER 



Face v. 209 



DELHI 209 

of perforated marble, shows the design and execution 
of an eighteenth-century jeweller. 

.An atmosphere of calm and peace pervaded these 
courts, where from the marble pavements tall trees 
had thrust tender shoots, to become with the years 
great canopies of green. I left them with regret. 

The grave of Ayam Khan, who also is buried in 
this neighbourhood, carried one back to the Memoirs 
of Baber, where the saving of his son's (Humayun) life 
by this chieftain is so vividly described. A spirit of 
chivalry and courage hovers about the memory of 
these early Moghul conquerors, far removed from 
the atmosphere of self-indulgent luxury of the later 
Sultans. 

We also visited the open marble hall called that 
of the Sixty-four Pillars, glittering white and gay. 
In fact, all Indian architecture strikes a note of gaiety. 
The grace and welcome of the tombs of great men, 
those elegant kiosks, afterwards used as their last 
abode, where pleasure-parties were held both before 
and after the death of the builder. The joyous invita- 
tion of clusters of open chhatries on the palace walls ; 
tiny domes supported by light columns or pillars, the 
shelter of which you reach from level terraces where 
you can linger in the twilight of a yellow moon ; the 
drooping balconies, the open halls from whence you 
gaze up on flower and flowering-tree reflected on the 
mirror of calm waters. There is a complete lack of 
any thought of dreariness, despair or grimness in the 
Hindu or Moslem conception of death. 

This ancient gaiety breathed even from the walls 
of Ajanta. Kiosks, flowers, feasts, lovely women 



210 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

gazing down from on high upon gorgeous pageants 
below ! And yet now, how rarely one sees an Indian 
in cheerful mood ; laughing, or dancing, or playing 
pranks 1 Those serious, questioning eyes, those 
slow, almost weary movements, do they belong to a 
gay people ? Are they like tired children, wistful and 
quiet in their gardens of beauty, sad, they know not 
why ? Or is it the despair of wisdom and disillusion 
which they try to drown in the light of their sun, the 
music of their fountains, the perfume of their gar- 
lands ? 

6//& January. I dine with the Commander-in-Chief 
and Lady Rawlinson, a concession on the part of the 
Viceroy. One does not dine out when staying at 
Viceregal Lodge, so I was told. 

A' very pleasant evening. As usual I found the 
men I met full of common-sense and an earnest desire 
to do their work well. They all seemed pleased to 
hear of my delight in India and my admiration of 
their achievement, and that of their predecessors. 

Lady Helen Seymour was there with her husband ; 
visitors to India as well as myself. 

-jth January. Miss Megan Lloyd George (who is 
also a guest at Viceregal Lodge) and several others of 
our party went over the Delhi Fort again ; it was 
evening the first time I had seen it, now it was morning, 
glowing and radiant. The gold of the sun's rays 
actually shone through the marble of the wonderfiil 
halls, the pierced marble screens seemed alive with 
light. With a pang in my heart I left the magic held 
within those crimson fortress walls. 

In the afternoon General Cory and Colonel White- 



DELHI 211 

head took us over the Ridge, and most graphically 
brought to our mind's eye those terrible, yet splendid, 
days of the Mutiny through which a comparative 
handful of British gentlemen lived or perished for 
the glory of the name of England. Remembering 
what those men endured, it is unbelievable to me how 
anyone can breathe, even in secret : Let us abandon 
India ! Must the fruit of such heroism be thrown 
aside and left to rot in the chaos India would become 
without England's just and firm guidance ? What a 
whirl of thought such scenes awoke ! And now the 
thunder of the guns, the anguish or triumph of the 
heart is stilled, and along the earth once stained by 
English blood runs the gay, white ribbon of the 
highways, and the bird crowned by King Solomon 
himself trips along the grassy slopes, the dainty 
hoopoe. Did the hoopoe come all this way from 
the deserts of Arabia ? 

King Solomon, beloved of all, both beast and man, 
once set out on a journey which took him across the 
burning sands where the sun's rays beat down without 
mercy for the most merciful. The hoopoe, a light- 
winged creature, in its devotion fluttered along beside 
him hour after hour. The horses stumbled and 
drooped, the escort lagged and fainted. In prayer 
and meditation the King tried to forget the flames of 
the sun, but without avail. Noting his growing 
distress, the little bird suddenly bethought itself of a 
means of succour. It flew away. 

" Alas 1 " thought the King, " even my tiny com- 
panion has deserted me ; I am indeed abandoned in 
my suffering." 



ZIZ LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

But a cool whirr of wings, a deep, grateful shade all 
in a moment encompassed him ! The hoopoe had 
called together all his feathery tribe and, flying in their 
thousands above King Solomon, they utterly shielded 
him from his flaming foe. 

The Wisest of the Wise then blessed the hoopoe, 
and decreed that he and his should for ever after wear 
a crown. And so they do to this day. 

I asked to be allowed to see the frescoes which 
Sir Aurel Stein discovered in Central Asia, in or near 
Thibet. So the next day we motored out to New 
Delhi and, in one of the many white bungalows em- 
bowered in trees, we found a museum and workshop 
combined under a single roof, presided over by 
Mr F. H. Andrews, whose experience and knowledge 
made smooth the path of the uninitiated. I was filled 
with admiration and surprise. These immense 
frescoes, in the most wonderful freshness of colour 
and preservation, had been carried for hundreds of 
miles on mule-back or pony. They had been cut from 
the walls of ancient huts, which were built of a sort 
of cement mixed with chopped straw. These slices 
were then packed, brought to Delhi and placed on 
the walls before us so cleverly that you could not 
detect a single joint. They covered great spaces, and 
the vivacity of the figures, the variety of types de- 
picted, the elaboration of gorgeous dress and head- 
gear were striking in the extreme. 

It seems that actual chunks of the huts themselves 
had been cut out, covered and packed. On arrival 
at Delhi the painted sides of the walls were placed on 
glass and the backs then slowly scraped away until the 



DELHI 213 

actual substance upon which the paint had been laid 
was reached. This proved to be straw 1 A new metal 
back was then cemented on (if I recollect aright), the 
pattern sorted out and fitted into great frames, and 
the whole fresco set up intact for the admiration and 
delight of those who care for exotic art and the history 
of art, indeed for art at all especially of those who 
enjoy line, light and remarkable sureness of touch in 
draughtsmanship. The subjects appeared to be 
religious. Most of them depicted scenes from the life 
of Buddha as imported into Eastern lands. For in 
that part of the world inspiration flowed from the 
West. 

These paintings are very Chinese in feeling and 
expression, but with the * grotesque ' (which we 
associate so much with Chinese art) entirely absent. 
The classical and, at times, almost Byzantine draperies 
worn by the stylized figure of the Buddha are in 
striking contrast to the rich and elaborate Chinese 
garments which clothe his devotees. A Western god 
among his Eastern worshippers 1 The panels are very 
crowded, the grouping much less spaced and balanced 
than in the Ajanta paintings, although the dates of 
these Central Asian frescoes are, no doubt, two or 
three centuries later than the later paintings in Hydera- 
bad. On the other hand the mastery of line and the 
careful delineation of types and variety of dress are 
more advanced than in those at Ajanta. 

The predominating colours are an orange-coloured 
pigment and fine reds and blues. The effect is in some 
cases almost as vivid as stained glass. 

These ancient Buddhist monks are somewhat of a 



214 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

mystery. Where did they learn their craft ? Why did 
the art they mastered suffer total eclipse and apparently 
lead to no further development (except perhaps in the 
T'ankus, the Buddhist painted banners, of later times), 
until Italian art struggled painfully to emancipate 
itself from the mosaics of Roman days the stiff 
fingers of Cimabue giving place to the master hand 
of Giotto, who, unillumined by the glow of Eastern 
achievement, lit alone the torch of Art in Europe ? 

yth January. Much to my edification, Sir John 
Marshall lunched to-day at Viceregal Lodge. He is 
the Head of the Preservation of Monuments Depart- 
ment in India, a most capable, nay brilliant, man. All 
speak of him very highly and of his efficiency and 
knowledge. Thanks to him, the subsidy for the care 
of India's treasures of art was not vetoed in Assembly, 
and Lord Curzon's traditions are carried on. 

The Mewa of Chitral was also at luncheon, but 
could only speak the tongue of his native country. 
How dull for him to join our company. His dragoman 
seemed somewhat bored by the everlasting necessity 
of translating everything, but I was struck by the 
quiet and pleasant manners of both these Indian 
gentlemen. 

The hours crowd, pressing together soon I must 
leave this Garden of Eden, these canna, these tamarind 
trees, the hibiscus blowing in the shadow and the 
wavering pipal leaves. . . . And my tale is but half 
told. 

I went to sit in the marble court of the Prince of 
Wales's pavilion, to look into the watery mirror 
gleaming in its midst to see the pale Indian winter 



DELHI 2X5 

sky shining within it like a treasure, a secret jewel 
so will the memory of India shine within my heart. 

9/# January. My last day at Delhi 1 Almost my 
last in India. I was sent out in one of the Viceregal 
carriages to say my good-byes. A cee-spring landau, 
with native, scarlet-coated footmen standing on their 
precarious perch behind, and a gorgeous scarlet 
coachman, turban and all, enthroned aloft, driving 
with skill a pair of splendid horses. Delight un- 
bounded ! I still enjoy the calm progression of a 
carriage and drove to and fro in regal solitude, re- 
joicing in a style which the next generation will regard 
as more absurd and obsolete than the sedan-chair. 

Alas ! To-night I must leave. My ship sails from 
Bombay on the i2th. I have only just time. 

I depart after dinner full of heartfelt gratitude to 
Their Excellencies, who had waved their wands of 
power and beneficence and given me enchanted hours. 
Several of the party come to see me off. We almost 
fall on one another's necks in tears. 

I am indeed miserable at awaking from my dream 
of dreams, and I know my next few days will be merely 
a feverish hurry as I have stretched my stay to its 
uttermost. 

Friday, nth January. After a journey of thirty-six 
hours I arrive at the Western gate of India. The 
dreariness of the scenery matched my mood. For the 
land we passed was of an uncanny formation, like 
the background of a crazy Chinese screen, the shapes 
of which I had always attributed to primitive drawing. 
Not at all 1 The sudden hollows, the pointed grassy 
peaks, the twisted paths and bumpy hillocks rose and 



2l6 LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

fell for weary miles, earth and tussocks of monstrous 
size stretched for monotonous distances, a veritable 
desert of rugged desolation. 

Captain Lynch meets me on my arrival ; I congratu- 
late him on his engagement to the charming Miss 
Grosvenor. 

Sir Leslie and Lady Wilson, the new Governor and 
his wife, extend a very kind welcome, and I am lodged 
in a different, but most comfortable, pavilion looking 
on the silvery seas. They are most hospitable to the 
passing and very fleeting guest who sets sail the next 
morning. 

The I2//5. On the splendid ship Kaisar-i-Hind 9 1 bid 
a wistful good-bye to my courteous escort, to the 
scarlet-coated kitmagars and my faithful bearer Samji, 
who, silent, grave and omnipresent, never left me 
through all my Odyssey. 

A beautiful ship 1 Decks such as no poor crowded, 
hustled Atlantic traveller ever dreamed of ; huge, flat 
expanses of velvet-white wood and nothing to 
interrupt your walking a score abreast from one end 
of the boat to the other. 

A delicious voyage across the seas to Aden and 
through the Red Sea, but alas 1 a storm in the 
Mediterranean, and the temperature drops from 80 
to 40 in a day. 

A veil is best drawn over the next few months of 
my existence : I reached Paris to sink into bed with 
bronchitis and pleurisy and never got home until 
April! 

Perhaps a heavy price to pay for my experience? 
But I wa? almost glad to pay it, and even when in 



DELHI 217 

fevered nights I closed my weary eyes I refreshed my 
tired spirit with the memory of cool marble terraces 
under dew-wet moonlight I heard the rippling 
shiver of the pipal tree and saw Canopus hung like a 
golden shield in the fathomless sky of Ind. 

I suffered but is not suffering the seal of the 
perfect treasure ? This time a treasure more rare than 
coffers filled with glittering Gold Mohurs in fee for 
the Peacock Throne of Delhi. 



THE END 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

IT is with great pleasure and deep appreciation that 
I place on record my debt of gratitude to Mr. John 
Balfour of H.M.'s Foreign Office for helping me with 
the correction of the manuscript of this book. 

To Mr. R. J, D. Campbell, Keeper of the Indian 
Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum, who veri- 
fied the historic references in my papers. 

To Captain Ralph Burton, O.B.E., lately A.D.C to 
H.E. the Viceroy in India, for some of the photo- 
graphs included ic this volume. 

To Mr. Eric Maclagan, Director and Secretary of 
the Victoria and Albert Museum, for permission to 
print photographs of various places in India, and to 
F. B. H. Drummond, Secretary of the Imperial Insti- 
tute, for allowing me to use some of their photographs 
of views. 

For the permission to reproduce further photo- 
graphs I am also indebted to Mr. Stowell of the 
" Indian State Railways " Offices in London and to 
Mr. E. Edwards, late of the R.M.A.C. in India as 
well as to the " Atlantis Verlag S.m.b.H." of Berlin, 
for allowing me to reprint the very fine pictures from 
Mr. Martin Hurlimans' book on India, printed by the 
" Studio " of 44 Leicester Square, London ; the copy 
of which was very kindly lent me by Miss Lyall, 

librarian at " India House." 

218 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 219 

Finally my thanks are due to the late Editor of the 
National Review, alas I no longer with us, for per- 
mitting me to reprint the Chapter on Ajanta which 
appeared, with but a few alterations, in die Review a 
few years ago. I need only add that without their 
invaluable help this modest volume would never have 
appeared. 

ALICE LOWTHER. 



GLOSSARY 

LAND OF THE GOLD MOHUR 

ALWAR. Indian State with capital of same name south of Delhi 
in Rajputana. Ruled by the Maharaoraja Pratab Singhi of 
Alwar. (Area over 3000 sq. miles. Population of capital 
over 44,000.) 

ASOKA. Mauryan King. (272-231 B.C.) He decreed a revival 
of Buddhism, spreading the cult and erecting monuments 
throughout Northern India. 

BEARER. Native servant, acting as courier. 

BEGUM. (From the Turkish.) Lady of rank, a Queen or 
Princess. 

BHARUT. Place where a Tope (or Memorial relic mound) was 
discovered of very fine style. 

BHEASTIE. Native servant of lowest caste. An untouchable 
(i.e. his touch contaminates the true Hindu believer). He 
performs all the humblest duties. 

BIHAR. Province of Central India (British), south-west of the 
Ganges river. 

BODHISATTVA. Predestined Buddhas. " Teachers of the 
Truth." Much multiplied by the Mahayana sect of Budd- 
hists. 

BRAHMAN or BRAHMIN. Priest of the ancient Hindu cult de- 
rived from the Holy Books of the Vedas. 

BUDDHA. The founder of a religion once widespread in India. 
Gautama The Buddha, an Indian Prince, left his Kingdom 
and family to become an ascetic, preaching and inculcating 
a more spiritual doctrine to the masses sunk in the idolatry 
of Brahmanism. Transmigration of Souls, ethical and 
moral purity were parcel of his belief. 5 58-483 B.C. 

BUDDHIST. Follower of Buddha. 

CHAITYA. Buddhist Chapel or Church. Also a place of sacri- 
fice or religious worship. 

CHHATRI. From * Chhattar ' : umbrella : insignia of rank. 
Small dome upheld by columns, or pavilion. 

221 



222 GLOSSARY 

CHUNAM. From ' Chuna * : lime. A plaster sometimes made 
of shells and of remarkable whiteness and brilliance. 

DAGOBA (Sinhalese word)=*' relic-receptacle,' strictly applicable 

to the dome of the stupa. (See below.) 
DARGAH. Burial-place of a Mohammedan Saint. 
DIWAN-I-AM. Hall of Public Audience. 
DIWAN-I-KHAS. Hall of Private Audience. 
DURGA. Wife of Siva, the Destroyer and Reproducer, in her 

terrible aspect also called Kali. 
EURASIAN. ' European- Asiatic ' : the child of a white father 

and Indian mother, or vice-versa. 
GARUDA. A fabulous creature half man, half eagle. The 

vehicle or symbol of Vishnu, the Preserver. 
GHANDARA. Early Buddhist Art, hellenistic in style, flourishing 

in the first centures before and after Christ. 

GOLD MOHUR i. Gold coin of various values minted by the 
Moghul Emperors : 1518-1707. Mohur-sovereign. Some 
with signs 01 the Zodiac on the face and Arabic lettering on 
the reverse, often the Declaration of Faith : " There are no 
Gods but God etc." The coin on the wrapper of this book 
represents the Emperor Jehangir, the son of Akbar and the 
father of Shah Jehan who built the Taj Mahal. He reigned 
from 1605-1627. An enlightened Prince. He tolerated 
both Christians and wine. 

GOLD MOHUR 2. A tree. Poinciana regia Bojer. Also called 
* Gulmohr,' Flame-Tree, Flamboyant. Native of Mada- 
gascar. Feathery Mimosa-like foliage, flowers profuse and 
brilliant red. (Modern nomenclature ' Delonix/) 

GUPTA. Indian Art of the period of the Gupta Emperors from 
the fourth century A.D. to the seventh century A.D. It 
spread widely and influenced the architecture of Western 
and Northern India strongly ; from it evolved the Indo- 
Aryan style. 

GUNGA. Hindu name for a female spirit representing the 
Ganges river. 

GWALIOR. An Indian state with capital of the same name 
south of Agra ; ruled by the Maharajah Scindia of Gwalior 
(Area over 26,000 miles ; over 3,000,000 inhabitants). 

HAMMAM. Persian word. Baths used by Orientals. Hot air, 
water and friction. 

HOOPOE. Upupa epops. Small bird, crested, light brown and 
white with showy plumage. Stripes across the back. 



GLOSSARY 223 

HOWDAH. Large saddle or seat for one or more persons, often 
covered by an awning and placed on an elephant's back. 

JAI-MANDIR. * Hall of Victory,' a fine one is at Amber near 
Jaipur, Rajputana. 

JAIN. A sect founded by c Vardhamana ' (or * Nattaputta ' as 
he is called by the rival order of Buddhists). Generally 
known as Mahavira (Great Hero) 599 B.C. to 527 B.C. His 
ascetic teaching was a reaction against Brahmanism and is 
a more spiritual and ethical system. The Jains are kind to 
animals. The style of architecture adopted by the Jains, 
Indo- Aryan in spirit, is also called Jain. 

JATAKA. The story of Gautama the Buddha, treating of his 
frequent manifestations as a Prince, as an animal, as a 
miracle-worker, is found among this collection of legends 
dating to very early times and containing the oldest versions 
of those nursery-tales and fables which are the common 
property of the world. 

KAPURTHALA. Native Indian state south of Amritsar, Punjab. 
Ruled over by the Rajah of Kapurthala. 

KARACHI. Capital of Sind. Province in British India. North- 
west coast. Population 1 5 2,000. Seaport of importance. 

KHITMATGAR. Native table-servant or servitor. 

Kos MINAR. Milestone erected on the roads in some parts of 
India. 

LAT. Tall monolithic pillar usually surmounted by a symbol. 
The most famous are those erected by King Asoka as a 
memorial of his enthusiastic support of Buddhism (270 B.C.). 
Also called ' stambha.' 

LIWAN. Broad, sometimes shallow, terrace covered by an 
arcade, closed by a wall at the back and two sides, used as a 
mosque by the Indian Moslems ; preceded by a large open 
court and fountain. 

MAHAVIRA. See Jain, supra. 

MAHOUT. Native driver of elephants, seated astride the animal's 
neck, behind the ears. 

MAIDAN. Meadow, plain, battlefield. 

MANGA. Large tree Mangifera Mica broad velvety leaves with 
clustered yellow-orange fruit, good to eat. Native of tropi- 
cal Asia now widely cultivated in hot countries. 

MAURYAN. Early Hindu style of art. Contemporary of pre- 
Asoka period. More archaic than the later Gupta work. 



"* GLOSSARY 

MIHRAB. An Arch. The recess in the wall -of a mosque on the 
side nearest Mecca to which Moslems turn in prayer. 
Usually called Kibla by the Indians. 

MINBER or MIMBAR, Pulpit in a Mosque. The Preacher stands 
on the middle step while delivering his sermon (or Khutba). 

MUEZZIN. Call to prayer by the Imam (a sort of priest) of a 
Mosque several times a day. 

MOGHUL or MUGHAL. A branch of the Turki family, descen- 
dants of Timur Lenk, coming from the North of India, and 
of which the Conqueror Baber is the first of a line of Moslem 
Emperors who ruled Northern India for over two centuries. 
The greatest were the first six. Baber 1526-1530. Hu- 
mayan from 1530-1556. Akbar from 1556 to 1605. Je- 
hangir from 1605 to 1627. Shah Jehan from 1627 to 1658. 
Aurungzebe from 1658 to 1707. After that they weakened 
and reigned with less and less power until the British con- 
quest swept them away. 

NANDHI. * The Joyous/ The representation, usually in sculp- 
ture, of a Bull. The vehicle or symbol of Siva. 

NAWAB. Originally meaning ' Deputy/ Now the title of a 

Ruler or nigh official. 
NAWABZADEH. Brother of a Nawab. 
NEEM, Technically known as Melia Asgdarachta. A tall, 

graceful tree, with perfumed flowers. 

OUDH. A province of British India in the north near Lucknow. 
PARSI or PARSEE. ' A Persian/ The modern followers of the 

Zoroastrian religion. Numerous in Bombay and Surat. 

The sacred fire, brought from Heaven by Zoroaster, still 

burns in their shrines and is worshipped as a symbol of God. 

They expose their dead in towers open to the sky they do 

not bury them. 

Pi. Small Indian Copper coin. 64 to a rupee. 
PIETRA-DURA. ' Hard Stone/ A form of decoration of 

flowers and arabesques carved, coloured or inlaid in stone 

panels. 
PUGGAREE. A Turban. Indian men's head-dress made of 

yards of muslin wound about the head in graceful folds. 
RAGA. Musical modes elaborate and obscure, evolved by 

Indians, expressed by pictures. 
REBAB. A Moorish musical instrument something like a banjo 

but the strings are stroked with a bow. 
SARI. Long and wide veil which Indian women drape around 



GLOSSARY 225 

the body and over head and shoulder ; closely resembling 

the Greek himation. 

SHERBET. Cold, sweet drink, flavoured with fruit, non-alcoholic. 
SIND. A district of British India on the north-western coast. 
SINGH. ' A lion/ The name of the ruling families of several 

native states such as Udaipur, Jaipur and Alwar. De- 
scendants of the Sun (Surya). 
STAMBOULINE. Long, black, tight-fitting coat in cloth, buttoned 

up to the neck ; once worn by Turkish gentlemen at the 

Sultan's Court in Stamboul. 
STUPA. (Or Tope) * Relic-shrine.' Monument containing 

relics ; or a commemorative tower. 
SUTTEE. Self-immolation by burning. Once practised by 

Hindu widows. Rarely performed nowadays. 

TAMARIND. A large tree. * Indian date,' Tatnarindus indica, 
tall, graceful with drooping branches and a reddish bark, 
brilliant flowers. The pulp, seeds and timber are much 
used. 

TAMERLANE. Popular form for Timur Lenk (Timur the lame). 
A Turki Conqueror descended from Jenghis Khan who 
at the age of sixty invaded India with his hordes from the 
north and defeated the Moslem Ruler Mohammed Shah 
Tughlak, near Delhi in 1398. He became master of Delhi 
and continued his victorious career as far as the shores of 
the Mediterranean, annexing Bagdad, Aleppo and Damascus. 
He crushed the Turks and took their Sultan Bajezid 
prisoner, shutting him in a cage. On his way to conquer 
China he died. 1336-1405. 

T'ANKU or TANKA. Painted banners carried in Buddhist re- 
ligious processions depicting the Buddha in his Heaven, 
surrounded by the holy ones. Usually dating from the 
fifteenth century, but carrying on the tradition of an earlier 
style. 

TOPE. See Stupa, supra. 

TORANA. Immense sculptured stone gateways placed before 
a Tope or Stupa ; the entrance to the enclosure surrounding 
the Topes which is guarded by high stone fences of grand 
design. 

TORI. High gateways usually in wood, placed near a temple 
in Japan, similar to the Torana ; note the characteristic 
cross-pieces over the lofty gate-posts with the protruding 
beam-ends. 



226 GLOSSARY 

TRIMURTI. ' Trinity.' The group of the three great God- 
Heads of the Hindu Brahmanical cult. Brahma, the 
Creator ; Vishnu, the Preserver ; and Siva, the Destroyer 
and Reproducer. 

VIHARA. A buddhist Monastery or apartment in a monastery. 
(In Ceylon a Buddhist temple.) 

ZENANA or ZANANA. (Persian word.) Women's quarters in a 
Hindu household. 



INDEX 



ABOU FAZL, 1 5 9 

Acropolis, the, 52 

Adam, Mr. Forbes, 14 

Adam, Mrs. Irene, 10 

Aden, 3, 4, 216 

Afrasiab, 83 

Afzal-Jehan, 109 

Agra, 70-1, 83, 85, 96-9, 104, 

113-15, 172, 205 
Ahalya Bai, 144 
Aird, Capt. John, 14 
Ajanta, 133, 180, 185-6, 188, 

194, 196, 198-200, 209, 213 
Akbar, 70, 83, 95, 99-101, 

109-12, 114, 159 
Alexander the Great, 188 
Allah-ed-Din Khilji, 170 
Al tarnish, 90, 92-3 
Alwar, 141 

Amber, 69, 70, 72-4, 102 
Andrews, Mr. F. H., 212 
Anga, 83 
Anson, 78 
Apennines, i 
Arabia, 4, 149, 211 
Arabs, 70 

Asafia Technical School, 26 
Asia, Central, 130, 212-13 
Asia Minor, 149 
Asoka, King, 13, 138, 188 
Aurangabad, 173, 183 
Aurungzebe, 79, 99, 107, 149, 

i 60, 208 
Ayam Khan, 209 



BABER, 82, 05, 114, 209 
Back-Bay, the, 6 



Barrackpore, 123, 125, 127, 

131-2 
Begum of Bhopal, the, 21, 

*5-9 3*-3> I3 1 
Benares, 132-3, 135, 137-8, 

140, 142-5, 150-1, 155, 157, 

161, 205 

Bengal, 2, 13, 119, 124 
Bernier, 101, 207 
Bharhut, 128 
Bhopal, 21, 23, 25, 33, 126, 

131, 156 
Bihar, 95, 128 
Blackett, Lady, 138, 148, 150, 

205 
Blackett, Sir Basil, 138-9, 148, 

150, 155, 164, 205 
Bolshevism, 2 
Bombay, 5, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 19, 

22, 65, 119-20, 126-7, I2 9> 

215 

Bosphorus, the, 112 
Brahma, n, 49, 176, 181 
Brahmanism, 13, 176 
Brahmins, the, 12, 68, 141, 147, 

181, 191, 195-6 
Bridgeman, Lady Honor, 132, 

204 

Broussa, 92, 149, 171 
Brown, Mr. Percy, 133 
Bruce, Miss, 66 
Bruce-Johnston, Capt., 119 
Buddha, 13, 29-31, 138, 175, 

180-3, 188-91, 198, 213 
Buddhism, 12, 145, 176 
Buddhists, the, 13, 145, 181, 

188, 195-6, 213 



227 



228 



INDEX 



Burma, 13, 120, 133, 145 
Burning Ghat, the, 142 
Burton, Mr. Ralph, 201, 204 
Bustles, Lily Langtry, 5 
Butler, Sir Harcourt, 133 
Byron, 119 
Byzantium, 171, 190 

CALCUTTA, 6, 7, 29, 86, 117-18, 
124, 126, 131, 135, 204 

Calvocoressi, M., 14 

Carmichael, Capt., 8, 14 

Ceylon, 129 

Chakravarti, 134 

Chandra Day, B. M., 134 

Charles V, 207 

China, 13, 109, 193 

Chitor, 53-8, 99, 114-1 5 , 170 

Chitral, the Mewa of, 214 

Christians in India, 145 

Cimabue, 214 

Clive, Lady Phyllis Windsor, 3, 
119, 131 

Communism, 8 

Constantine Paleologus, 171 

Constantinople, 109, 171 

Cooke, Gen., 78 

Cooke, Mrs., 78 

Cordova, 150 

Cory, Gen., 210 

Cowes, 122 

Crete, i 

Curzon, Lord, 32, 81, 93, 214 

D'ADLEY, MRS., 4 

Damascus, 150 

Dargah Mosque, the, 113 

Das, C. R., 134 

Daulatabad, 169-72 

De Lesseps, 2 

Delhi, 53-4, 57, 71, 77-9, 82, 
86-7, 8 9> 9*-3 9*-9> II 3> 
126, 128, 139, 149-50, 171* 
192, 201-6, 210, 212, 215 

Deo&iri, 170-1 

Deolali, 10 



Devavarn* , 134 
De Verria, Miss, 3 
Dore, Gustave, 161 
Dronagiri, the mountain of, 

129 

Dugdaie, Capt., 78, 86, 128 
Durga, 60, 145, 151-2, 181 

ELEPHANT A, 10, 13, 177-8 
Ellora, 133, 145, 165, 174, 

178, 180, 194 
Eurasians, 62, 153-4 

FARDAPUR, 186 

Fatehpur Sikri, no, 113 

Fez, 25-6, 41 

Firoz Shah, 89 

Fitzroy, Miss Yvonne, 121, 

133, 201, 203 
France, i, 88 
Francois I, 207 
Froome, Sir Arthur, 4 
Fyldes, Capt., 128 

GALTA, 66, 75 

Ganesh, 49, 145-6, 160, 181 

Ganges, the, 61, 97, 117, 121, 

139-40, 142, 156, 159, 161 
Genghis Khan, 77 
George IV, 7 
Ghosal, M., 29 
Gibbs, Maj., 78 
Giotto, 214 
Girinji Singh, Capt., 138, 146, 

157-8, 162 
Goa, 1 8 

Greece, 180, 197 
Gregory-Smith, Capt., 201 
Grosvenor, Miss Rosamund 

15*65' 
Gwalior, 82, 95, 124, 141, 15* 

HAILEY, SIR MALCOLM, 123 
Hamidullah, Nawabzadeh, 1 3 
Hardinge of Penshurst, Lore 
78, 124 



INDEX 



229 



144, 
127, 
-12 

115, 

170, 



Herbert, B., 122 
Herringham, Lady, 199 
Hinduism, 13, 49 
Hindus, the, 61, 70, 94, 

147, 176, 181 
Hooghli, the, 121, 124, 

132, 135 

Hoopoe, story of the, 211 
Home, Capt., 132 
Hughes, Miss, 133 
Humayun, 82-3, 95, 101, 

209 
Hyderabad, 78, 120, 156, 

183, 187, 213 

INCHCAPE, LORD, 133 
Indore, 144 
Indrapat, 206 
Iron Pillar, the, 95 
Italy, 88 
Ftimad-ed-Dowleh, 108 



JAI MANDIR, THE, 73 
~ains, the, 176, 181-2 

aipur, 60, 65-6, 68-9, 98 

algaon, 185-6, 200 

ama Masjid, the, 79, 87-9, 

145 

apan, 13, 1 8, 30 
eejeebhoy, Sir Jamjitsu, 17 
ehanara Begum, 208 
ehangir, 71, 102, 108-9 
erusalem, 150 
Jodhpur, 131 

Junina, the, 80, 98, 100-1, 
108-9, IX 4 

KAILASA TEMPLE, THE, 178-9, 

181, 183 

Kalan Masjid, the, 89, 149 
Kapurthala, 122, 156 
Karachi, 63 

Kama, King of Anga, 83 
Kashmir, 13, 208 
Kashmir Gate, Delhi, 86 
Kasi Ji (Benares), 144 



Kennard, Miss, 78, 86 
Koh-i-nur, the, 82-3, no 
KorsakprT, Rimsky, 161 
Kos Minars, the, 70, in 
Kutb Minar, the, 90-3 
Kutb-ud-din Aibak, 91-3, 95, 



LAFONE, Miss, 3, 119 

Lai, Ganesh, 205 

La Rochefoucauld, 8 

Lawrence, 78 

Lloyd, Lady, 8, 14, 17, 18, 20 

Lloyd, Lord, 9, 14, 17, 18, 20, 

120 

Lloyd George, Miss Megan, 

133, 204, 210 
London, 68, 115, 158 
Louis XV, 1 80 
Lutyens, Lady Emily, 137 
Lutyens, Miss Ursula, 3, 119, 

I 3 I 
Lynch, Capt., 14, 15, 21, 216 

Lytton, Lady, 2, 8, 86, 120-2, 

127, 131-4 

Lytton, Lady Davina, 3 
Lytton, Lady Hermione, 3, 

119-21, 131-3 
Lytton, Lord, 2, 6, 8, 119-23, 

125, 133-4 

MCCARTNEY, MAJ., 78 

Madras, 78, 120 

Mahavira, 13, 175 

Malabar, 5, 6 

Man Singh, 71 

Manmad, 165, 169, 185 

Marseilles, i 

Marshall, Sir John, 31, 214 

Mediterranean, the, 216 

Messina, i 

Mewar, 53-5 

Moghul Empire, the, 88 

Moghul-Serai, 165 

Mohammed, 88-9 

Mohammed II, 171 



230 INDEX 

Mohammed Shah Tughlak, 94, 

208 

Mohammedanism, 13, 145, 177 
Monte Carlo, 6 
Montmorency, Sir Geoffrey de, 

201-2 

Moraes, Mme., 18 
Morocco, 36, 72, 79, 89, 149 
Moscow, 7 

Moslems, the, 20, 6 1, 91-2, 145 
Mumtaz-i-Mahaf , 101,103,107-8 
Mutiny, the Indian, 86, 211 

NADIR SHAH, 82-3 
Napoleon III, 174, 180 
Nautch girls, 161, 163-5 
Nethersole, Maj., 14 
Nicholson, 78 
Nijinski, 165 
Nizam-uddin-Aulia, 207 
Northcote, Lady, 6 
Norway, 31 
Nur-Jehan, 108 

OUDH, 130 

PADMANI, 53-8 
Panipat, 82 
Paris, 216 
Parsees, the, 15-19 
Patna, 117 
Patterson, Col., 65 
Patterson, Mrs., 65-6, 69 
Pavlova, 177 
Persians, 70 
Petrograd, 7 
Politana, 17 
Ponsonby, Mr., 14 
Port Said, i 
Punjab, the, 83 
Purana-Kila, 96, 206-7 
Puri, 83 

RAISINA, 78, 87, 206 
Rajputana, 35, 68, 156 
Rama, 159 



Ramnagar, 155-6, 160 
Ranjit Singh, Maharajah, 83 
Ratlan, 35 

Rauza, 165, 169, 181 
Rawlinson, Lady, 77-9, 132,210 
Rawlinson, Lord, 77, 128, 132, 

204, 210 

Rawstorne, Capt., 14, 21 
Raza, Sir Mohammed, 183, 185 
Reading, Lady, 78, 120-2, 127, 

202-3 
Reading, Lord, 78, 86, 120-3, 

131, 138, 165, 185, 200, 

202-4, 2I 
Red Sea, 3, 216 
Rome, 1 80, 190 
Ross, Sir Denison, 98 
Rum, 1 01 
Russell, Miss, 170 
Russell, Mr., 170, 181, 183 
Russell, Mrs., 174, 181, 183 
Rutlam, 131 

SAFFAR JANG, 206 
St. Francis Xavier, 18 
Saint-Sophia, 52, 150, 171 
St. Xavier's Jesuit College, 

Bombay, 14 

Samji, 23, 35, 166, 169, 185 
Sanchi, 29-31, no, 138, 145, 

1 80, 183 
Sanscrit, 159 
Sarnath, 138, 180, 183 
Sastry, 134 
Savai Jai Singh II, Maharajah, 

66 

Schweiger, 90, 205 
Sen, 134 

Seymour, Lady Helen, 210 
Seyyid Achmed, 187, 189, 197, 

109 

Shab Karan, 41 
Shafi, Sir Mohammed, 128 
Shah-Jahanabad, 206 
Shah-Jehan, 79, 81, 87, 95, 99, 

101-3, 107-9, I 7 I 



INDEX 



231 



Shebal-ud-din Ghori, 91 

Sheik Selim, no, 113 

Shepperson, 121 

Sher-Shah, Mosque of, 206 

Shiraz, 101 

Sicily, i 

Sikkim, 13 

Sind, 141 

Singh, 141 

Singhram Singh, 114 

Siva, 11, 12,49, 50, 146-7* J 5*> 

160, 178, 181 
Spain, 150 
Squire, Mr., 169 
Stamboul, 41, 58 
Stein, Sir Aurel, 212 
Sue2, 2 

TAGORE, N. N., 134 

Tagore, Sir Rabindranath, 134 

Taj-Mahal, the, 47, 52, 100-1, 

104-5, 107, 117, 145 
Ta vernier, 101 

Tchinika Rauza tomb, the, 108 
Thibet, 130, 212 
Thierry, Mme., 33 
Timur, 77, 94 



Towers of Silence, the, 15, 1 6 
Trimurti, the, n, 49, 178 
Tughlak Shah, 93-5, 171 
Turkey, 21, 27,79, 8 9> l l 

UDAIPUR, 35-6, 38, 40-1, 43, 
45>47-9> 53>6o, 62, 115, 156 
Ustad Isa, 101 

VEDAS, THE, 12 
Victoria, Queen, 7, 48, 83 
Vikramaditya, 82 
Vishnu, 11, 19, 36, 48-50, 95, 
176, 181 

WADE, Miss, 78, 86 

Ward, Lady Patricia, 3, 119, 

131 

Warora, the, 187 
West Indies, 6 
Whitehead, Col., 210-11 
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 63 
Willingdon Club, the, 17 
Wilson, Lady, 216 
Wilson, Sir Leslie, 216 

YOUNG, COL. GRAFTON, 14 



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